A Financial Juggernaut’s Rise to Power; Two Decades of Dominance from Fortress Investment Group

Fortress Investment Group is a previously private (Now public) equity firm that was founded in 1998 in New York City by Randal Nardone, Wes Edens and Rob Kauffman (Who is now retired and focused on investment in the race car industry). In 2007, the firm went public and it has been noted as the first significant private-equity firm to allow public ownership through the New York Stock Exchange. After it went public, the company went on to expand globally and now controls over $43 billion in assets for approximately 1800 investors in hedge funds, capital vehicles and private equity. The investments of the firm are focused on risk-adjusted returns for their investors and the company employs over 900 people at its New York headquarters. The goal with the firm was to create an investment firm with an emphasis on “alternative-assets”, it started with $400 million and quickly grew to its $43 billion value that it is known for today in the 2000s.

The current individuals that sit on the Fortress Investment Group board are the New York-native Randal Nardone, Peter Briger and Wes Edens. The firm specifically specializes in operations management, asset-based investing, capital markets, corporate acquisitions and mergers as well as sector-specific knowledge of multiple companies across the globe. A multitude of assets are also held and controlled by the company, including real estate, financial and capital vehicles that are focused on generating long-term gains. Fortress Investment Group also boasts about their employees and board members that are full of experience, stating that almost everyone on their team has held positions at humongous companies like Goldman Sachs and BlackRock Financial Management.

The keystone of Fortress Investment Group is its numerous investment vehicles or funds that generate insane amounts of revenue. Fortress Investment Fund I was known for its intelligent real estate investments that increased the group’s worth by 40% from 1999 to the year of 2006. With its new-found funds in 2006, the company didn’t stop its rapid pace and found itself acquiring the largest ski resort company in the Americas, RailAmerica, Penn National Gaming, Canadian-based Intrawest and Florida East Coast Industries as well its subsidiary Florida East Coast Railway. From here, the company made its decision to go public and the value of its portfolio raised a significant amount instantaneously. By 2010, the company was awarded the Credit-Focused Fund of the Year award and received even more prestigious awards as time went on.

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