Fortress Investment Group: From Debt To Cars

In 2012, Randal Nardone founded Fortress Investment Group. The two other Co-founders were Wes Edens and Rob Kauffman. They combined their experiences together from previous jobs such as BlackRock Financial Management, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and UBS. The goal was to create something new like an alternative assets strategy they implemented in the company. Soon, Fortress was controlling an astounding $3.9 million up from $400 million in just five years. In 2007, the assets had jumped to an unbelievable amount of $32.6 billion. The first investment vehicle started in 1999.

They called it the Fortress Investment Fund I. Early on when they started Fortress, management focused in the real estate market in Toronto and New York. The business grew rather to expanding operations to hedge funds and debt. Fortress Investment Group was moving at a quick pace and had private equity funds rising from 40 percent during the years of 1999 to 2006. Nardone and Edens have a hands approach for their operation style for the business regarding its daily operations. Kauffman, after 15 years, wanted to focus on a life-long dream of car racing. That said, he purchased 50 percent of the Michael Waltrip Racing company that drives in NASCAR each year.

Next, he created RK Motors Charlotte which is a vintage restoration for “muscle cars.” Kauffman has driven in some well known races. One is the 24 hours of Le Mans and 24 House of Daytona. He is also a part of the ownership for Chip Ganassi Racing. The business fields cars for the several racing series and the IndyCar series. In the first 10 years, Fortress Investment Group experienced a hard driving traumatic ride since its first IPO. However, by 2006 it had the Fortress Investment Fund went from I, II, III and IV versions in a matter of time. They added additional funds such as the Long Dated Value Funds, Fortress Partners Fund, Fortress Brookdale Investment Fund, the Drawbridge Special Opportunities Fund and more. Fortress Investment Group will continues to grow and be a strong leader in the financial markets.

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