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Wes Edens

Founder & Co-CEO, Fortress Investment Group; Co-Owner, Milwaukee Bucks; Co-Owner, Aston Villa Football Club; Owner, FlyQuest

Wes Edens, Founder and Co-CEO of Fortress Investment Group

Wes Edens is a co-founder and co-CEO of Fortress Investment Group LLC.  Fortress, founded in 1998 with $400 million assets under management, has grown to become a global investment manager with approximately $41.4 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2018. 

Under his leadership, Fortress has built and owned industry-leading businesses in transportation, infrastructure, real estate, health care, financial services, media and entertainment.  Mr. Edens and his partners continue to lead Fortress as an independent business headquartered in New York after it was acquired by Softbank Group on December 27, 2017.

Mr. Edens has been the catalyst for the development of Brightline, the first privately owned, operated and maintained express intercity passenger rail system in the United States that connects Florida cities from Miami to Orlando and is developing its second corridor between Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada.  

Mr. Edens founded New Fortress Energy in 2014 to accelerate the world’s transition to clean and renewable energy. Mr. Edens is leading the rapid growth of the US-based company, which in just four years has become a global leader in clean energy infrastructure with liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, terminals and gas-fired power plants across North America and the Caribbean.

In 2014, Mr. Edens also became a co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks and led the effort to deliver a new arena to the city of Milwaukee for the NBA franchise.  The recently opened $524 million Fiserv Forum is the centerpiece of an ambitious development project spearheaded by Bucks ownership to transform 27-acres of mostly vacant property into a vibrant entertainment district.

Mr. Edens is a co-owner of Aston Villa Football Club, a storied soccer club based in Birmingham, England. A lifelong athlete and competitor, Wes grew up on a rural Montana ranch participating in outdoor sports including ski racing, mountain climbing, running, and jumping horses. He has scaled challenging mountains around the world including the Matterhorn, the Grand Teton, and Mount Kilimanjaro. 

In addition to serving on a number of professional boards and commissions, Mr. Edens is an active philanthropist. He and his family established The Edens Family Fund for Climate Change Research at Princeton University, a gift that launched the Urban Challenge within the Princeton Environmental Institute.  

He served as inaugural co-chair of the Brown School of Public Health Advisory Council and endowed a professorship at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., the Edens Professorship in Global Health, along with a research fund to focus on solving international infectious disease and environmental health hazards.

Prior to founding Fortress in 1998, Mr. Edens was a partner and managing director of BlackRock Financial Management Inc., where he headed BlackRock Asset Investors, a private equity fund. In addition, Mr. Edens was formerly a partner and managing director of Lehman Brothers.

Mr. Edens received a B.S. in Finance from Oregon State University.

Wednesday, November 28

The Value Proposition of Team Ownership

Moderator: Rob Tilliss, Co-Founder & CEO, Inner Circle Sports LLC
Wes Edens, Founder & Co-CEO, Fortress Investment Group; Co-Owner, Milwaukee Bucks; Co-Owner, Aston Villa Football Club; Owner, FlyQuest