When Fortress Investment Group was founded in 1989, there really was no way of knowing just how successful this private equity fund would grow to be. Two of the three original founders remain with the company today, with the third retiring in 2012. It is that type of longevity and dedication of these founders that have helped Fortress Investment Group to remain at the head of the pack two decades after its start. Fortress Investment Group began as a private equity firm that wanted to embrace innovation and positioned itself as an alternative asset management firm. Today, it is still known for its fluid and dynamic investment strategies.
Now a publicly traded company, Fortress Investment Group still operates on the goal of producing industry-leading returns for its investors while also embracing an innovative set of strategies. The firm’s first fund, known as the Fortress Investment Fund I was soon joined by Funds II, III, and IV in the ensuing years as a private equity company. While the firm was growing at a healthy rate, the original three founders, Randal Nardone, Wes Edens, and the now-retired Rob Kauffman, decided that it would be beneficial to grow executive team.
Thus the decision was made in 2002 and to create two additional leadership roles to help to direct the company to future growth and innovation. Through this decision, the two positions were filled by Peter Briger and Michael Novogratz. These two brought serious experience with them, as they were both highly experienced Wall Street Veterans. Novogratz came from Goldman Sachs to serve FIG as a fund manager. Joining as a principal, Peter Briger came from Goldman Sachs as well, with the added benefit of his previous experience in the Asian markets.
Following the growth in the management team, certain acquisitions occurred soon thereafter that helped to steer the company to increased growth and diversification. During the 2006 to 2007 period, several acquisitions happened, including Intrawest, one of the largest ski mountain operators in the North American market. At this time they also bought various railway interests and a casino and gaming company.