Wes Edens: From Start Up Co-Founder To Billionaire

The Fortress Investment Group was founded in 1998 by a group of five men, all of whom had the years of experience in a financial career in common. One of its founders, Wesley R. Edens serves as Chairman of the Board. He has in large part been one of the major factors that has brought the company to its current level of success.Wes Edens was born in 1961, and his financial career began at the investment firm of Lehman Brothers in 1987. He remained with them until 1993, and held the positions of a partner and a managing director. His next position brought him to the private equity division of BlackRock Financial in 1993, where he also served as a partner and managing director.

Wes continued his employ at BlackRock Financial until 1997, just preceeding the creation of Fortress Investment Group the following year.As Chairman of the company, Wes Edens leads one of the largest alternative asset investment firms. The international headquarters of Fortress are located in New York City. After many years of running the firm as a privately held company, the principals took the firm public in 2007. The company trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol of FIG. Not long after its initial public offering (IPO), 8% of the firm’s shares had been sold, amounting to $600 million.

The success of the IPO went on to make billionaires of the principals of the company, including Wes Edens. Much of his income comes from dividends from the shares of Fortress Investment Group that he owns. His take home pay in 2016 was reportedly $54.4 million, as it was reported by Biz Journal. It was also noted that Wes Edens had an annual base compensation of $200,000 that same year, indicating that the large sum of dividends Wes received was added to the figure released.Wes Edens graduated from Oregon State University in 1984. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in both Finance and Business Administration.