Big money mogul, Wes Edens, makes the grade as a sports figure as well, which is not something that can be said of all money men. The co-founder and private equity chief investment officer of Fortress Investment Group has been part owner of the Milwaukee Bucks for four years, ever since he and millionaire hedge fund manager, Marc Lasry, bought the team after the final 2014 season game from prior owner, Wisconsin Senator, Herb Kohl.
Before creating Fortress Investment Group, Wes Edens was a partner and managing director at both Lehman Brothers and BlackRock Financial Management Inc. Besides owning his own company, Edens holds down three board and advisory roles at Springleaf Holdings, Nationstar Morning Holdings and New Senior Investment Group. And yet, despite having a huge array of fiscal concerns decorating his plate, the sports ownership itch has struck Wes Edens again. More about of Wes Edens at nba.com
This time the team is an English soccer team, Aston Villa. The partnering entity for this deal is second-generation businessman and billionaire Egyptian mogul, Naseef Sawiris. Reportedly, the pair plunked down a cool 39 million for a 55% stake in the team. While there’s little doubt Mr. Eden enjoys watching players duke it out on the field, there’s also little doubt that the investment in Aston Villa is a shrewd financial one.
Although currently the team competes in the English Football League Championship, Aston Villa is poised to make a gambit for the Premier League, one tier above its current station as well as the reputed most popular professional sports league worldwide. The team lost Premier League status following a close loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford, 1-0. Perhaps with Wes Edens and Naseef Sawiris acting as investment angels and fans with a stake in the action the team will be all the more motivated to turn it all around.