The career of American entrepreneur and private equity investor Wesley (Wes) Edens also embraces the world of sports.His business career got a start at California Savings and Loan as well as work with Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney. He also joined Lehman Brothers as a managing director in the mortgage trading division. In 1998 Edens, along with Randal Nardone and Robert Kauffman, co-found the Fortress Investment Group. Edens, who is the co-chairman and co-founder of the group, is responsible for Fortress’ private equity business which mainly invests in areas such as infrastructure, transportation, real estate and financial services.The company, which is a highly diversified global investment manager, handles assets for more than 1,750 private investors and institutional clients on a global basis.
Last year SoftBank Group announced it had completed the acquisition of the Fortress Investment Group for $3.3 billion in cash. Fortress will operate as an independent business within SoftBank with Edens, Nardone and current co-CEO and co-chairman Peter Briger, will maintain leadership of Fortress.Venturing into the sports field in 2014, Edens and Marc Lasry, chief executive and chairman of the Avenue Capital Group, announced they agreed to buy the Milwaukee Bucks for approximately $550 million. They have also pledged to have the team remain in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and will develop a new revolutionary sports arena in the city.The Milwaukee Bucks are a professional basketball team that competes in the National Basketball Association’s Eastern Conference Central Division.
Edens and Lasry commented in a statement their strategy will include utilizing the same strength and resolve as owners of the team as they have applied in building competitive teams in the business world.What’s more, Edens, along with Fortress, recently revealed the launch of eSports brand FlyQuest. The professional “League of Legends” team was purchased from Cloud9 for $2.5 million.The new franchise plans to put together multiple teams to compete across a number of future eSports games and worldwide competitions.Edens, who was raised in Helena, Montana, graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance. He is married to his wife Lynn and they have four children. Edens contributes to the philanthropic activities that take in education, health and arts to organizations such as Partners in Health, Environmental Advocates of New York, the William J. Clinton Foundation and more.