Wes Edens, From Co-Founer to Sports Team Owner

Co-Founder and Chairman of Fortress Investment Group, Wes Edens graduated from Oregon State University where he studied Finacial and Business Administration. With little experience in the industry to start, Eden would go on to start his career at Lehman Brothers where he stayed for nearly six years. Afterward, he spent four years at BlackRock in their private equity division. At which point, with ten years of experience under his belt, Edens and four other partners started Fortress.

Initially, a private equity firm, Fortress quickly expanded its line of business into hedge funds, real estate investment and debt securities. The firm grew by leaps and bounds as a result and by 2007 went public on the New York Stock Exchange with Edens previous employer Lehman Brothers as one of the underwriters for the IPO.

In 2006, in a hallmark transaction worth $888 million by a Japanese firm, Wes Edens became a billionaire, but in 2008 at the onslaught of the subprime mortgage crisis, Edens would lose some of his fortunes. No stranger to risk, Edens would become a co-chairman at Fortress and spearheaded the firm’s recovery. In 2010, Fortress would invest $124 million into Springleaf Financial Services, which in 2015 led to earnings of $3.5 billion.

Fortress’s majority stake in Springleaf combined with their 2006 purchase of Nationstar Mortage resulted in the build-out of a robust financial-services business for the firm. Assets valued at $14.3 billion, the company was back on top, and Wes Edens was the man behind its resurgence.

With his billionaire status, in 2014, Edens purchased the Bucks, an NBA team based in Wisconsin for $550 million in partnership with Marc Lasry. After the purchase, he had built a new arena for the team to replace the previous BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Beyond being the team’s owner, Edens has invested himself in making the team better in every way. From the firing of their previous coach to holding private investment presentations to teach players on the team how to better manage their wealth. Entirely voluntary, eight players ended up attending his presentation heled over the summer of 2014. Wes Edens professes that half of players file for bankruptcy after retiring, and with three 19-year-old players on the team, he wanted to help them understand their finances.

Through Fortress, Wes Edens commissioned FlyQuest, a League of Legends team. Edens was able to pull this off on account of the previous owner of the team already owned two teams, which was against the Noth American League Championship Series rules.

Outside of eSports and the NBA, Edens has shown you can be a success even in the face of an economic downturn with smart investments and the desire to pay it all forward. He has investment not only money but his time and intellect over the years. In his free time, on the other hand, he enjoys horse humping and mounting climbing. Hobbies he picked up while living at his family’s Montana Ranch and has many climbs under his belt thanks to those experiences.

Read More: www.nba.com/bucks/bio-wesley-r-edens