Wes Edens, I considered by those who know him as an investing Genius. Having started his career at the Lehman brothers before moving to Blackrock, he was able to learn so much about the world of investing during this period. He would, however, come together with two others to found The Fortress Investment Group. This was in 1998, and since that time he has worked towards ensuring that the company became as successful as it could get. Within the first five years at the company, he was able to lead his team in growing their initial investment sixfold. During this time Wes Edens would show how much he was invaluable as a leader within the organization and over his years at Fortress this value has continued to reflect day in day out. He would be one of the most influential figures in taking the company public in 2008 when it first listed as FIG on the New York Stock Exchange.
Following this listing their performance coupled with their future outlook would push the stock higher and turned he and fellow co-founders into paper billionaires. In 2010 Wes Edens took on AIG this was at a time when companies were very fearful of the subprime market. At the time the company was acquired for 125 million dollars. This value would quickly grow as he moved to restructure it and move it into profitability completely. It was one of his biggest successes as a business leader, and by the time 2017 came around what was formerly AIG now SpringLeaf financial is managing assets worth 14 billion dollars. They have been able to turn the company around and build it into one of the most successful financial service providers.
Wes Edens is also a lover of sports. He is not actively playing, but has been keen on investing in them. His love for basketball saw him become the co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, who currently play in the NBA. He has been able to instrument a number of changes in the team and its now showing renewed vigor in the race to the top. He recently made a significant investment in the football club Aston Villa. The club plays in the championship, which is the second division of the England football league. The club missed its opportunity to re-join the English premier league by a whisker in May during their final match, but are now more determined than ever to overcome this defeat.
As the mid-term elections move ever forward things are looking good for Democrats. So far thirty-four contested seats have been surrendered by Republicans, and the left is looking to gain even more. This is good news for grassroots PAC End Citizens United. The campaign-reform PAC formed in 2015, has been fighting the good fight against big money. Earlier this year they released their list of endorsed pro-reform candidates and many are doing well. Top of the list is Texas senatorial hopeful Beto O’Rourke. O’Rourke is looking to unseat Ted Cruz who is fading down the stretch. Recent polls released by End Citizens United shows O’Rourke closing in on Cruz do to Cruz’s recent unpopularity.
In Wisconsin, senate hopeful Randy Bryce already has a promising start as Paul Ryan is not seeking re-election. Bryce is a strong choice for replacement, and has already garnered good support. His seat would be a legitimate upset for the right. Both Bryce and O’Rourke have managed to raise a considerable sum of money for their individual campaigns, and all without using big money PAC’s to do it. Learn more about the group on Crunchbase
End Citizens United was formed as a direct response to the 2010 Citizens United vs. FEC ruling. The ruling mandated that corporations be considered individuals, affording them freedom of speech rights under the constitution. This gives big business unrestricted ability to finance election campaigns. For many, most falling on the left, this bodes ill for minor and major elections. This means that campaigns can be bought, giving corporations direct lines to legislation. Many PAC’s have fought against this, chief amongst them being End Citizens United.
ECU is dedicated to revoking the Supreme Court decision by using legislation to undercut it. For this purpose, they advocate for pro-reform candidates, keep the reform subject in the national spectrum, and push for pro-reform legislation. Their goal is getting enough reform candidates seated, that legitimate legislation restricting big money PACs is passed. They will keep fighting until its done, and as the mid-terms continue ECU focus is unwavering. Although they are gaining ground, there is still a lot of road left to cover.