One of the biggest stories to come out of the 2017-18 investment year was the acquisition of New York asset fund manager Fortress Investment Group by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. SoftBank purchased Fortress for a cool $3.3 billion. The purchase finalized in 2017 with SoftBank taking over in 2018. Fortress Investment Group was founded back in 1998 by co-founders Randal Nardone, Wes Edens, and Peter Briger. Starting off as a hedge fund Fortress grew into a powerhouse asset manager. In just a decade Fortress became a billion-dollar business with fingers in collective pies all over the world.
The noted asset manager has invested in technology, real estate, public transportation, and numerous other initiatives. Now, under the direction of SoftBank it has become a very large subsidiary. Nardone, Edens, and Briger still independently manage their respective regions but function now as principles. SoftBank is a veteran of information technology and up until now has been largely involved in innovative trends. SoftBank provides financial backing for such areas as robotics, IoT, and AI advancement. Its purchase of Fortress was the first step into expanding its operation into asset management.
The end goal is for the company to gain management expertise from the best source around, Fortress Investment Group. So far Fortress Investment Group has still operated as an independent entity. It manages its numerous assets and invests in new areas as always. SoftBank’s hand is now behind it, however, nudging it in the direction it wants to go. So far that direction is in Japan as SoftBank has made a number of real-estate purchases under Fortress’s banner. Fortress itself is not stranger to Japan as it has already invested 600 billion yen into Japanese real estate. So far SoftBank has targeted data centers, condos, hotels, and office space. According to sources within SoftBank the end goal is to retrofit these spaces and turn them into high quality housing.