Sometimes the safest bet isn’t always the best, which is what Wes Edens has learned during his career on Wall Street. While others in the industry may not be so quick to make the investments in the underdog, he works hard to make sure that he is able to see the big picture instead of just public opinion. It was one of these bets that helped the company overcome problems that his company Fortress Investment Group had faced due to the financial crisis. In 2010, a subprime lender proved itself to be a good pick as their stake grew from a value of $124 million to $3.5 billion in 2015, just 5 years later.
While this decision may have been an important part of his career, Wes Edens wants it to be more than that. Along with straight investments, he is dedicated to helping build infrastructure. This was made evident in 2014 when Wes Edens founded New Fortress Energy which focuses on building infrastructure to support clean energy. Another example would be the substantial investment into passenger train company Brightline.
After reading a book by the Standard Oil founder, Wes Edens became inspired to make a shift in his career. Upon reading about how Henry Flagler developed hotels and railways, he decided to start working with Brightline. The company began serving customers earlier this year with a route between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Since then, they have expanded to another stop in Miami with more routes and stops in the works throughout Florida and other areas of the United States.
While Brightline has yet to be profitable, he sees that changing soon as the number of passengers choosing Brightline instead of other options has increased by 35% monthly. If only 2% of the people making the trip between these cities each year went with Brightline, they would be able to become profitable quickly. He believes in the company’s ability to make this happen. He points out his ability to make people suspend belief for a little bit just to see the potential that an investment may have.