Since 1998 when the company was formed, Fortress Investment Group has continued to be the trendsetter in the investment management industry. Its founders intended to create a special kind of investment firm that would help in consolidating funds from private equity and reinvest it in cutting-edge vehicles. The firm was established as a private equity firm by its three founders; Rob Kauffman, Wesley R. Edens, and Randal Nardone; and the headquarters located in New York.Soon after its establishment, Fortress Investment Group experienced a very sharp growth in the private equity; growing at a rate of 39.7% within the first five years. By 2007, Fortress had already grown into a big firm that managed alternative assets for its clients. Its managed assets had increased to a whopping $33.6 billion, from a meager $400 million.
On 9th February 2007, Fortress Investment Group announced an IPO. This historical move made highlights internationally as Fortress was the first large company of its type to go public. The event was not taken lightly by the industry and what followed was other investment management firms of its type followed suit. Some of the firms that imitated the move were Blackstone Group (which went public four months later), KKR & Co., Ares Management, Oaktree Capital Group, Apollo Global Management, and the Carlyle Group; which went public within the year that followed. One stronghold of Fortress Investment Group that has made the company remain outstanding in the investment industry is special expertise in managing mergers and acquisitions.
Fortress’ personnel have developed strong professional relationships with senior management and key stakeholders of other corporations and organizations, an aspect that has always made it easy for Fortress to combine efforts with other organizations through mergers and partnerships.For instance, between the years 2006 and 2007, Fortress Investment Group acquired Intrawest, a Canadian company that operated the largest ski resort in North America. During the same period, Fortress purchased other organizations such as RailAmerica, Florida East Coast Industries, and Penn National Gaming. Other firms that Fortress purchased or entered into partnerships with were AIG’s American General Financial Services (which later changed to Springleaf Financial Services), D.B. Zwirn & Co., Graticule Asset Management Asia, Mount Kellett and Logan Circle Partners.
Fortress, on behalf of its clients, manages a portfolio of more than $43 billion in assets under management (AUM). The clients constitute of both institutional clients and private investors from all over the world.