When Wes Edens, co-founder of Fortress Investment Group makes a bet, it’s sometimes not one that many people would have expected. He tends to root for the underdog and will even put his capital behind it to make it happen. After taking a break from subprime lending, he got back into the industry in 2010 only a few years after the financial crisis that took place in the United States.
Right now, the world seems to be focused on self-driving cars while Wes Edens has chosen to invest in a private passenger train system in Florida with plans to expand to different cities. In addition, he made a big bet for the Milwaukee Bucks back in 2014 when he became a co-owner of the team. Even though the team hasn’t won a championship for more than half a century, he still sees the potential.
Instead of listening to the opinions of others when it comes to making an investment, Wes Edens looks at the facts and what the potential benefits and problems may be. One of the main problems that he experienced with the Brightline passenger train was that many people just didn’t believe that it was possible. He was able to change people’s minds and suspend their disbelief just long enough to show the potential value in the investment.
Wes Edens has made a fortune through Fortress Investment Group, many times through investments that others thought would never show potential for paying off. The company became the first of its kind in private equity funds to go public. This initial public offering gave Wes Edens a stake of Fortress worth $2.3 billion. When Fortress was purchased by SoftBank in 2017 for $3.3 billion, his stake was bought out for 40% more than the value pre-announcement.
Edens graduated from Oregon State University in 1984 with a degree in business administration and finance. As a child, he grew up on a ranch located in Panama while being raised by a schoolteacher and a psychologist. He spent his teen years as a competitive ski racer and still enjoys skiing and rock-climbing around Jackson, Wyoming. Wes Edens and Brightline: The Future Looks Brighter for South Florida Commuters