Fortress Investment Group

Company Name: Fortress Investment Group

Founders:

• Wesley Edens (Co-founder)
• Robert Kauffman (Co-founder)

Industry: Alternative Asset Management

History:

The New York based Fortress Investment Group LLC is an alternative asset management firm that operates by managing hedge funds, private equity funds, real estate funds, as well as railroad related investments.

The firm, which was founded in 1998, went public on the 9th of February 2007. The firm is currently under the helms of its co-founder Wesley R. Edens. Apart from being co-founder, Edens also serves as the current Chief Executive Officer and chairman of the Board of Directors. In addition to Edens, the Fortress Investment Group was also founded by two other key persons, Robert Kauffman, who is currently in charge of the firm’s operations in Europe and Randal A. Nardone. Wesley Edens was a former partner at the BlackRock Financial Management Inc, while both Randal Nardone and Robert Kauffman have served as former managing directors of UBS.

With the help of its 840 employees, the private equity firm was able to earn a net income of $322.3 million by the end of 2008. The Fortress Investment Group’s portfolio companies include the Rail America Inc, the Florida East Coast Industries, Penn National Gaming, as well as the Canadian ski operator Intrawest.

The Fortress Investment Group completed its acquisition of the RailAmerica Inc on February 2007. During that same year, the firm completed its acquisition of the Florida East Coast Industries. The Florida East Coast Industries, or the FECI, is the parent company of the Florida East Coast Railroad.

The firm’s investments peaked between the years 1999 and 2006. During that period, Fortress Investment Group’s private equity funds netted 39.7%. By the end of September 2006, the firm was reported to hold around $17.5 billion worth of private equities and $9.4 billion worth of hedge funds. In addition to this, the Fortress Investment Group also managed a few publicly traded investment companies including Eurocastle Investment Limited and Newcastle Investment Corporation.

Leadership:

• Wesley R. Edens – CEO, Chairman of the Board of Directors
• Robert Kauffmann – President(Europe), Director
• Randal Nardone – COO, Director

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