Wes Edens is a private equity investor, an American businessman and the owner of a sports team. He was one of the founders of Fortress Investment Group and co-owns the Milwaukee franchise of the National Basketball Association’s Milwaukee Bucks in addition to FlyQuest of the League of Legends. He graduated from Oregon State University and earned his Finance and Business Administration B.S. in 1984. His career started at Lehman Brothers in 1987. Wes Edens was the Managing Director and partner until 1993. He then began serving Blackrock Asset Investors private equity division until 1997.
There were five principal partners in Fortress Investment Group. These were Wes Edens, Peter Bridger, Randal Nardone, Robert Kauffman and Michael Edward. The company was founded in 1998. The Wall Street Journal stated the company used creative financing and investments to build businesses. On February 9th of 2007, Fortress Investment Group was the first firm to publicly trade buyouts. The initial public offering was supported by the founding team. An eight percent share had been sold to the public by 2009 for $600 million.
The assets for Fortress included publicly traded and private equity investments by 2007. This included four hedge funds, fourteen private equity funds and two real estate vehicles. Nomura Holdings paid $888 million to acquire fifteen percent of Fortress in December of 2006. This made Mr. Edens and the other founders billionaires. The creation of an eSports team called FlyQuest was announced by Fortress in January of 2017. The League of Legends team competes in the Championship Series Springleaf through the North American League.
Wes Edens was the catalyst in purchasing AIG’s American General Finance. Fortress was now the major stakeholder for Springleaf. The value for Springleaf Holdings increased to $3.5 billion by 2015. The original 2010 investment of $124 million had now gained by 27 percent. The Wall Street Journal called Mr. Edens the new king of subprime lending. In August of 2010, Fortress acquired a total of eighty percent of Springleaf for $125 million. This built the private equity unit of the company.
Marc Lasry and Wes Edens bought the Bucks in 2014 for $550 million from Herb Kohl. They promised they would replace the BMO Harris Bradley Center with a new arena and would keep the team located in Washington. Wes Edens is married with four kids. His youngest daughter received a lot of attention from the media when she appeared at the 2014 NBA Draft lottery as the representative for the Milwaukee Bucks’. This attention was both controversial and significant.