|Wesley R. Edens|
|Born||October 30, 1961|
|Residence||New York City, New York|
|Education||Oregon State University|
|Occupation||Private equity investor, Hedge fund manager|
|Known for||Co-founder of Fortress Investment Group|
Co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks
Co-Chairman and Shareholder in Aston Villa
Wesley Robert Edens is an American businessman, private equity investor and sports team owner. A cofounder of Fortress Investment Group and founder of New Fortress Energy, Edens is also a co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, a National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, along with Marc Lasry. He also owns the League of Legends team FlyQuest. A group consisting of Edens and Nassef Sawiris injected cash into English Championship club Aston Villa in July 2018, becoming majority shareholders.
Early life and education
Lehman Brothers and BlackRock
He began his career in 1987 at Lehman Brothers, where he was a partner and managing director until 1993. He then went to BlackRock's private equity division BlackRock Asset Investors, where he remained until 1997 as a partner and managing director.
Fortress Investment Group
Wes Edens was one of five principal partners—Peter (Pete) Briger, Jr., Robert (Rob) Kauffman, Randal (Randy) Nardone and Michael Edward (Mike) or (Novo) Novogratz—who founded Fortress Investments in 1998. Edens investment style was described in a 2007 The Wall Street Journal article as one based on "contrarian bets, creative financing and a knack for building business from investments." Fortress became the first publicly traded buyout firm on February 9, 2007 with Eden and his partners taking the company public through its initial public offering. Fortress had sold an 8% share to the public for $600 million by 2009.
By 2007 Fortress assets under management included both private equity and publicly traded alternative investment vehicles—fourteen private equity funds, four hedge funds, and two real estate vehicles, and went public. When the Japanese financial holding company, Nomura Holdings acquired 15% of Fortress for $888 million in December 2006 with proceeds going to the five principals, Edens and his partners became paper billionaires. Edens became Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors at Fortress in 2009, and helped the company, which saw its stock price fall to below one dollar after the subprime mortgage crisis, resurge by offering subprime lending. He served as Chairman of Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors LLC from 2015 to May, 2016.
In January 2017 Fortress announced the creation of an eSports (professional video gaming) team called FlyQuest. The team currently has a League of Legends team that competes in the North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS).
Springleaf Financial Services
Edens, who runs Fortress’s private equity business, was the catalyst at Fortress behind the purchase of subprime lender Springleaf Financial Services—then known as AIG's American General Finance. which made Fortress Springleaf's majority stakeholder. By 2015 the value of Springleaf Holdings Inc. had ballooned to "$3.5 billion — putting the firm’s gain at more than 27 times Fortress’s original investment of $124 million in 2010." Edens was heralded as the "new king of subprime lending" by The Wall Street Journal. Edens is chairman of the subprime lender Springleaf Financial Services—formerly known as AIG's American General Finance. Fortress acquired 80% of Springleaf in August 2010 for $125 million and used Springleaf and Nationstar to "build out a financial-services business within its private-equity unit, which manages $14.3 billion in assets."
Edens' is chairman of Nationstar Mortgage, formerly known as Centex Home Equity Company, LLC, a subprime home equity mortgage lender, which was acquired by Fortress for $575 million in 2006. In 2005 Centex was "operating in major U.S. markets in 25 states and delivered more than 33,000 homes in the United States." In 2014 Edens' connection to Nationstar Mortgage was cited by opponents of a proposed public-financing deal for the construction of a new arena the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center. They advocated for more public resources to rehabilitate foreclosed homes managed by Nationstar.
In 2014 Edens and Marc Lasry purchased the Bucks from Herb Kohl for $550 million, promising to keep the team in Wisconsin and build a new arena to replace the BMO Harris Bradley Center. As of February 2018, the NBA franchise was valued at nearly double that amount, $1.075 billion.
Edens and his wife Lynn have four children. Youngest daughter Mallory received significant, controversial media attention following her appearance as the Milwaukee Bucks' team representative at the 2014 NBA Draft lottery. His hobbies include horse jumping and mountain climbing.
- Wolfe, Alexandra (July 20, 2018). "Wesley Edens Is an Investor With an Affinity for the Underdog". Wall Street Journal.
- "Milwaukee Bucks President and Owner Herb Kohl Introduces New Team Ownership and Announces $100 Million Gift for Arena". Milwaukee Bucks. April 16, 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
- "New Fortress Energy, "About Our Founder"".
- "Aston Villa: Wes Edens & Nassef Sawiris to make 'significant investment' in club". BBC Sport. 2018-07-20. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
- Wolfe, Alexandra (2018-07-20). "Wesley Edens Is an Investor With an Affinity for the Underdog". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-08-31.
- Alumni, Business Partner Award Winners Announced, Corvallis, Oregon, 2007, retrieved December 24, 2016
- Fortress Investment Grp-Cl A (FIG:New York) Wesley Robert Edens, Bloomberg, 2016, retrieved December 24, 2016
- Wesley Edens, Forbes, October 2008
- McLean, Bethany (April 2009). "Over the Hedge". Vanity Fair. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
- Company Overview of Fortress Investment Group LLC, Bloomberg, December 24, 2016, retrieved December 24, 2016 "information and data displayed in this profile are created and managed by S&P Global Market Intelligence, a division of S&P Global"
- Gregory Zuckerman, Henny Sender and Scott Patterson (February 10, 2007), Hedge-Fund Crowd Sees More Green As Fortress Hits Jackpot With IPO, The Wall Street Journal, retrieved December 24, 2016
- Clark, Patrick (2012-06-13). "Fortress Chieftain Mike Novogratz Wrestles with Olympians, Youth…and Wall Street". New York Observer. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
- A Quick Buck, 2007
- Nomura to acquire minority stake in Fortress Investment Group (PDF), Tokyo and New York: Fortress Investment Group, December 19, 2006, retrieved December 24, 2016
- "About Fortress - Wesley R. Edens". Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- Zuckerman, Gregory (August 10, 2015), Meet the New King of Subprime Lending: Fortress Investment’s Wesley Edens turns $124 million into $3.5 billion; ‘it’s not a bad thing’, retrieved December 24, 2016"On Wall Street, the best way to get over a losing trade is to bounce back with a winner. Mr. Edens is enjoying a surprising whopper: subprime loans. ... The giant gains have helped offset recent stumbles by Fortress in its “macro” hedge-fund business—and made Mr. Edens the new subprime king."
- Matthew Monks and Devin Banerjee (October 17, 2013), Fortress Wins Big in Turnaround of Subprime Lender Springleaf, retrieved December 24, 2016
- Opoien, Jessie (August 13, 2015), Bucks owner Wesley Edens deemed 'the new king of subprime lending', Madison, Wisconsin: The Capital Times, retrieved December 24, 2016
- "Select Investments", Fortress Investment Group, retrieved December 24, 2016
- "Centex Corporation Announces Agreement to Sell Centex Home Equity Company, LLC", Centex Corporation via PRNweswire, March 30, 2006, retrieved December 24, 2016
- Wickman, Natalie (August 19, 2015). "Common Ground protests Nationstar, Bucks owner Wes Edens". The Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- Walker, Don (April 17, 2014). "Kohl sells Bucks for $550 million; $200 million pledged for new arena". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- "Milwaukee Bucks on the Forbes NBA Team Valuations List". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-09-01.
- Velazquez, Matt (May 21, 2014). "Mallory Edens becomes an Internet sensation at NBA draft lottery". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- Dicker, Don (May 20, 2015). "Mallory Edens, Milwaukee Bucks Co-Owner's Daughter, Shames Reporter Who Called Her 'Trophy Daughter'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
- Peak Performer: Milwaukee Bucks Co-owner Wes Edens Reaches New Heights -- on Mountaintops