Today Wes Edens is known most famously as a hedge fund billionaire owner of the Milwaukee Bucks. He, along with Marc Lasry, bought the team in 2014 and has seen the value of the franchise double from $550 million to over $1 billion.
Being part of an NBA ownership group is a prestigious accomplishment that not only requires an immense amount of capital, but also a pristine reputation.
Wes Edens gained that reputation through a distinguished 30+ year career in the capital assets and investment firm world. He started at Lehman Brothers in 1987 as a partner, then moved to BlackRock in 1993. He left in 1997 and until he was one of five people who started the Wes Edens crown jewel, Fortress Investment Group.
Wes saw his net worth soar at Fortress. He leveraged an aggressive investment strategy that was robust to down economies and recessions. Prior to one of the most crippling recessions in 2008, Fortress went public and IPO’ed in 2007. It was the first publicly traded buyout firm.
He is a contrarian in his investing and so despite the the rest of the economy heading into a deep recession, Fortress continued to grow in the late 2000s. Wes was quite creative in helping Fortress through subprime mortgage lending during this time. Not a popular strategy until this time, subprime lending meant giving people with less than fair credit or FICO scores loans on their homes. Edens was the catalyst behind Fortress’s purchase of subprime lender Springleaf Financial Services, formerly known as AIG. By 2015, Springleaf holdings was worth $3.5 billion, putting the firm’s gain at more than 27 times Fortress’s original investment of $124 million in 2010.
Wes Edens has used calculated risk to become one of the most successful capital assets managers and trailblazers in the space. Wes Edens is a man you don’t want to bet against.
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