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Back in 1998, when Wes Edens, Randal A. Nardone, and Rob Kauffman founded Fortress Investment Group they knew they had a winning combination of talent and drive. Forming an “alternative-asset” management firm the team immediately caught the attention of the financial world. The founder’s combined years of experience in managing mergers and acquisitions, securing financing and investing in pioneering entities gave Fortress a reputation as anything other than a run-of-the-mill investment firm. In 2007 it took a radical step by becoming the first alternative-asset firm to go public on the New York Stock Exchange.
In 2017, Fortress made another move, being bought out by Softbank. Fortress kept its original principals and continued to be operated as an independent entity. Wes Edens is still deeply involved, focusing his work on the Private Equity division. Edens ability to dissect complex deals while finding ways to create extraordinary returns even in distressed markets is the basis of the division.
Branching out, Wes Edens became co-owner of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks in 2014 and owns FlyQuest a League of Legends team backed by Fortress that joined the eSport ranks in 2017. This year Edens and Nassef Sawiris invested in the Aston Villa soccer team, buying a 55 percent controlling stake.
Heading in a new direction, Wes Edens Brightline has hit the rails in Florida with overwhelming success. Running between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, with a stop in West Palm Beach, the Brightline commuter train service is currently part of the only privately owned passenger rail system in the States. The aggravation of driving between Miami and Fort Lauderdale is alleviated by a comfortable train ride where commuters can work with complimentary wifi, read in a cozy leather seat, enjoy food service or relax in the lounge.
The premise for Wes Edens was to provide an alternative travel option between cities that are just a bit too far to drive to but too short to fly. Looking at routes between other cities like St. Louis to Chicago or Charlotte to Atlanta, Brightline looks to become the future of commuter rail service in the United States. Billionaire Sawiris, Edens to Buy Aston Villa Soccer Club