Fortress Investment Group was started in the year 1998 as a private equity firm by its three co-founders; Randal Nardone and Wes Edens who are still current principals at the company, and Rob Kauffman, who retired in the year 2012. The main motive of the three founders was to create a special kind of investment management firm that would harness funds from private equity and later reinvest the funds in cutting-edge capital vehicles that would generate impressive returns for their clients. After its establishment, Fortress Investment Group’s asset under management snowballed from as low as $400 million to $3.9 billion within the first five years. By 2007, the company’s portfolio had risen to a whopping $32 billion in assets under management. In this same year, Fortress group made a historical move of announcing its Initial Public Offer.
As an investment company of its caliber and type, Fortress Investment Group became the first investment institution to make such a move. This was an event that was never taken lightly in the industry because shortly after the announcement, a couple of other companies of its nature followed suit. Some of the firms that announced the same were, KKR & Co., Apollo Global Management, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, the Carlyle Group, Ares Management and the Oaktree Capital Group. These went public a year after Fortress. Blackstone Group had also gone public six months earlier. Fortress Investment Group has invested so much in its leadership. Lead by its three Chief Executive Officers; the firm has managed to have the best organizational leadership not only in the United States but also internationally. This aspect has seen the company receive numerous accolades and awards in the investment industry that are exclusively meant for the outstanding performers in the industry.
For instance, in both 2010 and 2011, the Institutional magazine named Fortress their “Credit-Focused Fund of the Year.” Later in 2012, the same magazine described Fortress Group as their “Discretionary Macro-Focused Hedge Fund of the Year.” In 2014, HFMWeek, one chief publication in the investment management industry named Fortress their “Management Firm of the Year.” In the same year, the institutional magazine also called the group the “Hedge Fund Manager of the Year.” All this is a clear indication of the kind of effective leadership that prevails in the firm. Lately, the firm has diversified its portfolio to manage other classes of assets apart from private equity. These include assets like the hedge fund, credit fund, real estate, and other traditional asset strategies.