Wes Edens; Climbing Every Mountain

Wes Edens has a simple job title: private equity investor and hedge fund manager. His accomplishments are the mountain beneath the tip of that iceberg. Wes grew up in Oregon, and graduated from Oregon State in 1984. He learned his hearty individualism in the rugged Northwest and had already conquered the zenith of the Grand Tetons and Matterhorn mountains soon after he reached peak of business world.

Cofounding Fortress Investment Group in 1998, he guided the company through the rocky subprime mortgage crisis to its place as a financial giant. Though Wes Edens may be considered powerful and wealthy, he has retained strong preference for the underdog. This helped guide his decision to become part-owner of the struggling Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA. Not only did he promise the long suffering fans to keep the team in Milwaukee, he began building them a beautiful new arena which will reflect both his keen vision and the beauty of the midwest.

It has been said that part of the reason Wes is so successful is because of his willingness to break rules of convention and to take risks. It is also that daring that nearly killed him during his 800-foot free-fall off Pingora Peak in Wyoming. Climbers are told to never go past their guide and never to get near the end of their rope. Wes went past his guide, coming and going, and had exhausted most of the rope by the time he halted his plunge. Wes Edens has also become part owner of the struggling Aston Villa Football Club in England’s second division. The club is currently poised at mid-table, but with some courage and a little risk-taking they could return to the top of the hill in England next year. Their chairman, Wes Edens, knows something about climbing to the top.

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