Wes Edens is a billionaire financier who co-founded the alternative investments company Fortress Investment Group. His specialty at this company, where he serves as a principal, is private equity. He has been instrumental in Fortress Investment Group acquiring a number of companies over the years including companies involved in financial services, energy & infrastructure, healthcare, and transportation. The latest company he has invested in is Brightline which is an intercity passenger railroad firm.
Brightline is the only privately owned company in the passenger railcar industry. They started service in early 2018 and it began in Miami, passes through Fort Lauderdale, and terminates in West Palm Beach. Wes Edens says that they are planning to extend service to Orlando, passing through Cocoa, in 2021 and there will be additional extensions as well. This will eventually be a high-speed train system which will reach speeds of 125 mph.
Wes Edens says that the Brightline model being used in Florida will work in other parts of the nation. It’s a great and affordable service for corridors between cities that often have grueling traffic. In Florida, a one-way trip is just $10 compared to the $40 it would cost to do the trip via Uber. He says that he can see Brightline developing train service between Atlanta and Charlotte, Houston and Dallas, and other cities as well, anywhere where congestion is a big issue.
He has also invested in sports teams. A few years ago Wes Edens became one of the co-owners of the NBA team the Milwaukee Bucks. In July 2018 it was announced that he and Egyptian businessman Nassef Sawaris were buying a majority stake in Aston Villa, a United Kingdom football team. This team just missed being promoted back into the Premier League last season and Wes Edens said that he and his business partners are committed to accomplishing this goal in the upcoming season.
In a joint statement that Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris released they stated that they were both lifelong fans of football. They planned to bring sustainable success to Aston Villa. They also stated that they understood they are stewards of the team and took their responsibility to the fans seriously. Billionaire Nassef Sawiris And Wes Edens To Buy Significant Stake In Aston Villa