American businessman, Wesley R. Edens, was born on October 30, 1961, in New York. As a young man, Wes Edens attended Oregon State University and received his bachelor’s degree in finance and business administration in 1984. Edens biggest pride outside of his career is his spouse Lynn and their four children who will likely follow their fathers footsteps in business and entrepreneurship. Wes Edens began his career after attending college in 1987 starting off at Lehman Brothers, a global financial services firm. He worked his way up at the company and was made partner and managing director in 1993. Wes then left the firm and began a new career at BlackRock, an American global investment management corporation in New York. Here he remained until 1997 as partner and managing director.
1997 marked a year that Edens was ready for a change. He began his own company with five partners- Peter Briger, Roberrt Kauffman, Randy Nardone, and Michael Edward Novogratz in 1998. The six men named their enterprise Fortress Investments. They had a natural knack for building businesses from investments and were known for their knowledge in creative financing. In 2007, the Wall Street Journal described Fortress Investments as one of “contrarian Bets,” and the company was doing so well in a short amount of time that they made headlines. On February 9, 2007, Wes Edens and his partners decided to take the company public. Their’s became the first publicly traded buyout firm and became public through its stock market launch.
By 2009, Fortres sold 8% of their shares to the public for $600 million and assets under their management included private equity and publicly traded investment alternatives. In December of 2006, a Japanese financial company, Nomura Holdings, bought out 15% of Fortress’ shares for $888 millions making Edens and the other partners billionaires.In 2009, Fortress Investments voted for Wes Edens to become co-chairman of the board of directors. It was under his leadership that the company was able to survive when the stock market began to fall after the subprime mortgage crisis that began in 2007 and was at its worse in 2010. He kept Fortress afloat by offering subprime lending, a loan option for people who were struggling to make payments on time. Wes served as chairman of Fortress until May, 2016 and is now continuing to help it grow, and enjoying his new venture in FlyQuest.