Fortress Investment Group was founded in 1998, by current principals Randal Nardone and Wes Edens, as well as retired principal, Rob Kauffman. Peter Briger from San Francisco is the third current principal. Briger joined the group in 2002, bringing 15 years of experience with him. In 2006-2007, Fortress made several key acquisitions, and continued to grow. Known as a trendsetter, Fortress went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2007. It was the first private equity firm to do so.
Fortress continued to increase its investment vehicles, and began adding internationally focused funds to its portfolio, including a number of funds which concentrated on Japan. In 2011, Fortress Investment Group opened a second U.S. Headquarters in San Francisco, and two in Asia. At this time, the leadership of Fortress began to be widely recognized for its innovation and success. In 2017, Soft Bank Group Corporation, a large Japanese company bought Fortress for 3.3 billion dollars.
Currently, Fortress continues to operate as an independent entity, headquartered in New York. All three principals chose to continue in their roles after the purchase by SoftBank. Fortress operations are divided into three principal categories. First, the Credit division is led by Briger, The Private Equity division is focused on cash flow generation, and is led by Edens and Nardone. Finally, the Permanent Capital Vehicles division focuses on investment.
Recently, Fortress Investment Group has continued to expand. This year, investors were offered a totally secured investment in iPass, a leading global connectivity provider. iPass operates the largest Wi-Fi network in the world, which enables customers to access millions of Wi-Fi hotspots. iPass is sure to become more popular over time, which matches well with the Fortress philosophy of investing in areas where clients can receive strong risk-adjusted returns for long-term investing strategies. Also, Fortress owns Brightline, the country’s first private, intercity, passenger rail system.
Brightline began running from Miami to Fort Lauderdale in May of this year, and hopes to implement similar rail services in multiple cities. Such expansion shows that Fortress Investment Group plans to continue the innovative practices it was founded upon.
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