How Wes Edens became one of the best investors at the Fortress Investment Group

When the wall street journal referred to him as the new king of subprime lending, the news of Fortress acquiring American General Finance had just hit the airwaves. They had completed the acquisition of a majority stake led by Wes Edens for 124 billion dollars. The plan was to turn around the company and convert it into a private equity unit that would operate in a somewhat similar way to Fortress. Wes Edens knew how to turn AIG around given his reputation as a distressed asset expert. The company is today known as Springleaf Financial and has seen its value grow 27 times to 3.5 billion dollars and manages assets worth more than 14 billion dollars. This was not the first subprime company that Edens was showing an interest In. He had previously helped the group acquire Centex Home Equity Company, LLC for 575 million dollars back in 2006. The company is today known as Nationstar Mortgage, and Wes Edens is its chairman. His knowledge of this market has always worked to his advantage and has made him an invaluable member of the Fortress Investment Group. The group was started by three partners, among them Edens in 1998. Before his venture here he had a very successful career as a managing director and partner at BlackRock’s private equity division. This had exposed him to a lot of investment values that were applicable even in his new venture. Wes Edens is also a brilliant sports investor. He owns a share of the Milwaukee Bucks which they acquired from Herb Kohl in 2014 with business partner and fellow investor Marc Lasry. The investment has grown tremendously as the Bucks are today estimated to be worth 1.075 billion dollars, up from the 550 million dollars that they were acquired for. Wes also invested in the English Football Club Aston Villa. The team, which has been trying to get back to the EPL is the next project that he will be working on. The new chairman who is his business partner Nassef Sawiris is as committed as he is to ensuring that the team gets all it needs to ensure that they succeed.

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