In 1998, three talented, ambitious young men believed they could create a successful investment management business. It turns out that their faith was justified. Fortress Investment Group, the firm those three men founded, went on to become one of the world’s leading global investment management firms. Of the three young men who founded Fortress, two remain with the company today — Randal Nardone and Wes Edens — the third co-founder Robert Kauffman retired in 2012.
Fortress Investment Group continues to expand its holdings and the investment opportunities it offers to its investors. One of the more recent investment vehicles Fortress Investment Group has made available to investors is the chance to invest in iPass. iPass is a global connections provider. A more everyday description might be that iPass is the operator of the world’s largest Wi-Fi network. If you’ve connected to a public Wi-Fi hotspot anywhere in the world, it’s likely you’ve connected to iPass. You’ll find their hotspots in train stations, airports, concert venues, restaurants, and convention centers.
iPass’ growth prospects certainly played a part in Fortress Investment Group’s decision to create a USD 20 million loan package to iPass. That growth includes expectations that the number of Wi-Fi hotspots they provide will grow from more than 64 million at present to more than 340 million by the end of 2018.
Another significant investment by Fortress Investment Group is Wes Eden’s Brightline train service in Florida. Wes Eden’s Brightline train is part of the only passenger train service that is both privately owned and operated.
Wes Eden’s Brightline passenger train service currently operates, in both directions, between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. On a light-traffic day, a commuter on I-95 might make that trip in 30 minutes, but on a busy day, that commute time can easily double. Brightline can get that commuter to his location in a consistent 34-35 minutes. Even better that commuter can work, or relax during the commute.
Institutional Investor Magazine bestowed the “Institutional Investor of the Year” award to Fortress Investment Group on June 30, 2014.
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