Wesley Robert Edens also known as Wes Edens is a New York-based businessman who was ranked position 962 in the Forbe’s list of billionaires in 2008. Unlike other billionaires who make it due to the inheritance of family businesses, Wes Edens is a self-made billionaire. He graduated in 1984 from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Business Administration. Edens started his career in 1987 at Lehman Brothers where he worked for six years. He steadily rose the ranks, and he was the Managing Director by the time he left in 1993. He moved to BlackRock where he was involved in forming BlackRock Asset Investors, a private equity fund. He worked until 1997 when he resigned as the Managing Director as well as a partner. The engagements in Lehman Brothers and BlackRock prepared him for the tasks in Fortress Investment Group.
In 1998, Wes Edens alongside Peter Briger, Robert Kauffman, Randal Nardone and Michael Edward founded Fortress Investment Group as a private equity firm. The company deals in raising, managing and investing a portfolio of assets such as private equity, debt securities, real estate and hedge funds. Wes Edens served as the Chief Executive Officer of Fortress for six years from 1998 to 2003. He is the Private Equity Chief Investment Officer, President of the Private Equity, Principal, Head of Private Equity and Co-Chairman for nine years now. In December 2017, he started serving as a Co-Chief Executive Officer Of Fortress Investment Group. Edens is in charge of private equity and alternative investments at Fortress. He was the force behind the acquisition of Springleaf Financial Services by Fortress in 2010 which by 2015 had grown to $3.5 billion from the original $124 million, multiplying the gain by 27 times.
Employees at Fortress have described the working environment as challenging, but the presence of friendly employees encourages teamwork. The organization embraces a flat structure making communication easy along the hierarchy. In 2014, Wes Edens purchased Milwaukee Bucks, an NBA team in Milwaukee together with Marc Lasry. Bucks has been ranked position 26, and the value of the team is growing rapidly compared to the initial $550 million investment according to Forbes. Edens also owns League of Legends a video game published by Microsoft Windows. He has also launched a new e-sport team FlyQuest to take part in professional video game tournaments. It is believed that with time FlyQuest will become a professional team in video games and will be recognized globally.