Wes Edens is a successful businessman based in New York City. He graduated from Oregon State University in 1984 and, armed with a bachelor’s degree in finance and business administration, decided to enter the financial industry. His career started at Lehman Brothers and he stayed there for six years. Before he left he was a managing director as well as a partner of this firm. In 1993 he left to join BlackRock where he worked in their BlackRock Asset Investors division, focusing on private equity.Along with some business partners Wes Edens established Fortress Investment Group in 1998. This is a globally diversified investment firm which is pretty well known in the industry for making contrarian bets and building up the companies they acquire. He is currently a principal of this company, a Co-CEO, and is on the Management Committee. His role at this company is to manage its private equity investments and also manage its alternative investment transactions.
Fortress Investment Group was sold to SoftBank Group Corporation, a giant Japanese company, at the end of 2017. The deal was for $3.3 billion and Wes Edens made about $512 million from this sale. Additionally, he earned $11.4 million that year from bonus dividends and another $1.4 million that he garnered from unvested shares he owned. He and the rest of the management team stayed in their positions after this sale concluded.In 2014 he decided to branch out his business activities to sports. Along with Marc Lasry he bought the Milwaukee Bucks NBA franchise for $550 million. They had promised at the time to keep the team in Milwaukee and had pledged to build a new arena.
This was followed through on and the Bucks will start playing later this year in the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center. This stadium cost $524 million and will be used for much more beyond basketball, such as conventions and concerts. Over the last four years the value of this team has increased to $1.075 billion.Wes Edens is also now an owner in the esports arena. He bought the Cloud9 Challenger’s League Championship Series for $2.5 million. This also included the contracts for four of the teams that play in this series. He is the fourth owner of an NBA franchise to invest in esports leagues joining Rick Fox, Peter Guber, and the ownership group behind the Houston Rockets.