Fortress Investment Group was established in New York City in 1998. Its founders were three businessmen in the financial industry; Rob Kauffman, Wesley Edens, and Randal Nardone. Its success led to it being listed on the New York Stock Exchange in February 2007. As of 2017 this company employed over 1,000 people in both New York, San Francisco, and other offices around the world.This was started as a private equity firm. It soon started investing in other assets as well such as real estate, debt securities, and hedge funds. It has received a number of accolades over the years such as being named “Hedge Fund Manager of the Year” in 2014 by Institutional Investor. HfMWeek called Fortress Investment Group the “Management Firm of the Year”, also in 2014. In both 2010 and 2011 Institutional Investor also named them as the “Credit-Focused Fund of the Year”.
Fortress Investment Group has owned and managed a number of private firms over the years. One of these was Intrawest which was the biggest ski resort company in all of North America. Intrawest also had subsidiaries such as Abercrombie & West. Intrawest was sold by Fortress in 2016. In 2006 they also bought RailAmerica Inc. which they spun off in an initial public offering in 2009.The three current principals of Fortress are Randal Nardone, Peter Briger, and Wesley Edens. All three are also on the board of directors as well as David Barry, Douglas Jacobs, Michael Rantz, and George Wellde, Jr. Each principal is responsible for a different part of the company. Peter Briger, for instance, handles its credit investments while Wesley Edens manages the private equity investments.
Altogether they manage around $36 billion in assets under management. Fortress Investment Group was acquired by SoftBank Group Corp. in December 2017. The acquisition cost $3.3 billion and was a cash deal. When this deal was completed SoftBank Group owned all outstanding shares of Fortress and it was taken private. Each outstanding Class A share was bought for $8.08. As part of this transaction the entire management team of Fortress agreed to stay on board and continue in their same roles. SoftBank Group is now operating Fortress as an independent subsidiary of their which kept its same brand, processes, culture, and business model.