Wes Edens, a Self-made Billionaire, a Businessman and a Serial Investor That Everyone Should Emulate

Wesley Edens is a New York-based self-made billionaire who made it to position 962 in the Forbes billionaires list in 2008. He currently serves as a co-Chief Executive Officer at Fortress Investment Group since 2017. Wesley Edens, also called Wes, served as CEO of the firm for six years since 1998. Furthermore, Wesley co-founded Fortress and has been serving as its Private Equity Chief Executive Officer, principal, president of private equity and co-chairman for nine years now. His responsibilities are to oversee private equity and alternative investment businesses.Wesley’s career kicked off in 1987 at Lehman Brothers, a global investment bank dealing in equity and fixed income sales and trading, private equity, and private banking. He served there as a managing director until 1993. Later, Wes Edens moved to Black Rock Asset Investors as a partner and managing director until 1997. He has an educational background in Finance and Business Administration where he graduated with a degree from Oregon University in 1984.

Employees in Fortress Investment Group have described the working environment as challenging, friendly employees, thus encouraging teamwork and a flat organization structure which has made communication very easy. In addition, they have described human Resources as exceptional and praised the firm for giving them exposure in their particular fields.Wes Edens co-owns the Milwaukee Bucks, an NBA team located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Edens also owns a video game called League of Legends developed and published for Microsoft Windows. Recently, Wes stated that his Fortress Investment group will launch a brand-new E-sports team by the name FlyQuest. E-sports means organized multiplayer video game tournaments among professional players.

This franchise has organized a team to play in the North America League of Legends Championship series. Fly Quest will most likely succeed given Edens’ experience in sports and business. Long-term growth will be achieved through sponsorships, partnerships, and an active fan base. Wes Edens described e-sports as rapidly growing, and he is positive that with time, FlyQuest will become an internationally recognized organization.According to biz journals, Wes Edens has a ‘take-home pay’ of $54.4 million annually. This amount is the total compensation at Fortress of $13.4 and close to $41 million in dividends received as a shareholder. Due to this, He appeared in a list of ‘Very High Earning Private Equity Executives.’ According to a report by Fortress, his total wages are in addition to his $200,000 salary, close to $1.1 million in stock awards, a bonus of $11.6 million and $478,493 in other allowances.

Randal Nardone and Fortress Investment Group

Randal Nardone co-founded Fortress Investment Group in 1998. He earned graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in English and Biology. Then he earned JD from Boston University School of Law.Before founding Fortress Investment Group, he was managing director at UBS, and before that, he was principal at BlackRock Financial Management. Before that, he held an appointment on the executive committee at the law firm of Thacher Proffitt and Wood. He has also held positions at Alea Group Holdings Limited, GAGFA S.A., and Brookdale Senior Living.

Occupying the spot 557 on the Forbes billionaire list, Nardone is a self-made man whose net worth is about $1.8, made at the initial public offering in 2007. He is the COO (chief operating officer), overseeing the structured finance and legal matters sections. Nardone has earned an amazing $100 million in cash payouts since 2005. Fortress Investment Group is a powerhouse money management provider who specializes in highly diversified global investments and manages assets worth $43.6 billion. Randal Nardone is also a director of EuroCastle Investment Limited, Spring Leaf Finance Corporation and Spring Leaf Finance, INC.  In late December 2017, Softbank Group Corp announced that it had bought Fortress Investment Group for $3.3 billion.

andal Nardone is also a director of EuroCastle Investment Limited, Spring Leaf Finance Corporation and Spring Leaf Finance, INC
Randal Nardone is also a director of EuroCastle Investment Limited, Spring Leaf Finance Corporation and Spring Leaf Finance, INC

Fortress will operate within Softbank as an independent business with Randal Nardone, Wes Edens, and Peter Briger continuing to lead the entity. With the merger came the chance for shareholders to sell their shares for $8.08 each.Fortress’ heavy investments in areas such as senior living, mortgages, and infrastructure appealed to the Japanese held Softbank because they represent large amounts of capital invested in permanent capital vehicles worth over $7 billion.Randal Nardone joins his executive partners in praising the merger, adding that the leadership of Masayoshi Son is a great asset to Fortune Investment. They go on to say that Softbank’s scale and easy access to resources will continue to add value to the customers of Fortune Investment Group.

Lime Crime, Purple Unicorns and Doe Deere

Lime Crime is a fantasy inspired makeup brand that features bright and whimsical color palettes. It is vegan and cruelty-free certified by PETA and Leaping Bunny. The brand launched online in 2008 and was founded by Doe Deere, who was born in Russia and grew up in New York City. Doe Deere studied fashion design and illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology, but dropped out after she realized she could immediately start her own fashion line. In 2004 she began selling her clothing on eBay under the account name Lime Crime. She modeled her own pieces, but had a hard time finding the correct makeup to complement them. In order to remedy this she created her own makeup line.



Doe Deere found success by breaking away from the crowd and following her own path. She was one of the first female entrepreneurs to create a brand and market it online. Deere blogged about fashion and modeled her brand on YouTube and Instagram. She created tutorials, giveaways, and contests to promote Lime Crime and gain the following she now has. Deere also credited her success to her ability to passionately listen. She believed that valuable information could be found anywhere if she was open to it, so she listened to both her supporters and her critics, adjusting her products and marketing strategies when she thought it could be beneficial.



 One of Deere’s goals was to create a brand for rebels and free spirits like herself. Deere believes everyone is different and should be able to express their individuality through makeup that makes them feel happy and that they are the best they can possibly be. Deere is also particularly interested in Generation Z, as they have grown up in a society that is completely digital and that has embraced differences in people more than any other past generation. Deere thinks it will be interesting to watch how Generation Z grows up and how they will change the future of online shopping.



Although Deere experienced many obstacles she believed in herself and didn’t give up. She pushed through and stayed committed to the goals she envisioned for herself. Because of her choices Lime Crime now has a lot of success. It features a variety of colorful lipsticks, eye shadows, and nail polishes. Just like its mascot, the purple unicorn, it is rare and unique, often being the first to try new things and set new trends.


To learn more, visit www.doedeere.com.