Wes Edens, The Humble Billionaire With Ordinary Beginnings

The assets managed by Fortress Investment Group are valued at approximately 43 billion dollars. What started out as a simple buyout firm blossomed into managing financial assets that include private equity, hedge funds, liquid equity and bonds. Wes Edens is one of the founding partners and he also serves as Co-Chief Executive and Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors. Wes and the four other partners began operations as Fortress Investment Group in 1998. Since that time they have continually made forward progress by developing major capital projects in other countries. In January 2017, it was announced that Wes Edens was heading “multiple investments” in Jamaica Liquefied Natural Gas.

After graduating from Oregon State with a Bachelors of Science degree in Finance, Wes Edens worked for a California bank. Eventually, his career trek landed him in prominent Executive positions such as Managing Director and Operating Partner with Lehman Brothers. He left the firm in 1993 after six years and joined BlackRock Financial Management. While there he established a private equity fund for the first time. The success groomed him for Fortress. Wes Edens journeyed through various top leadership roles before branching out into the broader aspects of private equity investing. Fortress is an excellent collaborative between the partners, working together has provided them with investment opportunities in healthcare, transportation and financial services and the energy sector.

Fortress Investment Group became a publicly traded entity on the New York Stock Exchange in 2006; but it wasn’t until February 2017 that Wes Edens became a billionaire. He’s currently #962 on Forbes list of the top billionaires in the world, with a net worth of $1.6 billion. While some other billionaires inherit a trust fund or take over a family business, Wes is a self-made billionaire. He and his managing partners have made steady gains in the alternative investment market. It also bears noting that Wes Edens is co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks and owner of the eSports battle arena team, FlyQuest.

Although, Wes Edens spends a great deal of time planning financial strategies as a private equity investor; his accumulated wealth is partly due to salary and other compensation. Wes has a reported income of $54.4 million dollars annually. Which is mostly earned from Fortress stock dividends in the amount of $41 million with the remaining $13.4 million from direct compensation. This differs from his reported salary (“take-home pay”), which has been estimated at $200,000. Wes Edens owns 63 million shares of Fortress stocks and the breakdown of his annual compensation in parts is from alternative compensation, a $12 million bonus, and $1 million in stock awards.

Wes lives in New York with his wife and four children. In addition to his work related ventures, he makes time to give generously to various organizations. Wes Edens’ philanthropic donations include gifts to the Chinook Charitable Trust, the Quincy Jones Listen up Foundation and the William J. Clinton Foundation and Autism Speaks, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House of New York.

Wes Edens’s Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/public/Wes-Edens