Wes Edens has experienced a meteoric rise in the world of investment banking and he will be drawing on these experiences to push the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks (and the league’s nascent NBA 2K league) to the next level.Wes Edens has enjoyed a prosperous career ever since his humble beginnings with the famed Lehman Brothers firm. He graduated from Oregon State University with a BS in Business and Finance Administration in 1984 and became a member of the Lehman Brothers firm three years later.He would become a managing director and partner in short order. It did not take long for him to experience a similar level of success at his next stop: BlackRock Asset Investors.This is where he would remain from 1993 to 1997.Once he had learned everything he needed to know at these two stops, he made his way to Fortress Investment Group.
As one of the five founding investors, Wes Edens positioned the company for the success that they would soon enjoy.Showing an immediate knack for making the right investment decisions, Wes Edens made contrarian bets that paid almost immediate dividends. According to BizJournals, Edens’ take home pay rose to a whopping $54 million as a result of these decisions. He helped to build the company’s portfolio and this led to a handsome windfall once public trading began.After awhile, Edens began to look for the next challenge and when the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks were placed up for sale by former owner Herb Kohl, he struck while the iron was hot. While the Bucks were purchased by Wes Edens and partner Marc Lasry for $550 million, the franchise’s valuation increased almost immediately.
The Bucks are now valued at over $1 billion, thanks to the efforts of Edens and Lasry. Edens is also making a strong foray into the world of e-sports. The NBA has elected to create an NBA 2K league for professional console gaming. This league is designed to enhance the interest of younger viewers, many of whom utilize console gaming on a regular basis.Edens has a long and storied track record of making bets like these and it seems as if it will only be a matter of time before the NBA’s 2K league experiences the same boost in popularity that his other ventures have been able to enjoy. With an additional investment in a League of Legends team, he is certainly covering all of his e-sports bases.