For anyone to be successful in business, risk-taking is an essential part of life as it helps forge alliances as well as increase profits. Wes Edens knows and understands the essence of risk-taking. He was part of a team of bright investors and financial minds that led to the founding of Fortress Investment Group. A self-made billionaire with a passion for taking risks that do not only become profitable but they also create an impactful change to people’s lives. One such collaboration is the partnership between Wes Edens brightline company and Virgin group. This collaboration has made it possible for Brightline to continue growing the first privately funded passenger train in America for over 100 years. Read more about Wes Edens at Industrial Areas Foundation.
This partnership creates a new strategic partnership as well as a trademark licensing agreement. This partnership also creates an added advantage for Brightline Company, as it is a collaboration with one of the most recognized brands in hospitality and travel. It also enables Brightline to make use of the diverse knowledge and expertise Virgin Group has when it comes to travel and hospitality. This partnership also made it possible for Brightline to change its name and establish a new brand name for the first privately funded passenger train.
Its new brand name is Virgin Trains. Brightline had previously launched service between West Palm Beach, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. It also intended to extend to Tampa and Orlando. This collaboration will help ensure that this vision is made possible. According to Wes Edens, the partnership between Brightline and Virgin will help reinvent the passenger rail service and enable it to take a leap forward. Virgin group has over 60 companies that have a primary focus of providing consumer services in sectors like travel and leisure, music and entertainment, telecoms and media, health and wellness, and financial services.
According to Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, partnering with Brightline will help alter the perceptions and traveling habits in America. This partnership with Wes Edens will also help validate the accomplishments each company has made when it comes to expanding markets as well as amplifying the efforts of each company to create a reliable passenger train system.
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.