Joe Fagan

Former Soccer Star, Now Soccer Fan


October 19, 2019

Fortress Investment Group: An Adaptable Investment Firm

Being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange is not something that most companies would get. excited about, but so far it has been good news for Fortress Investment Group. The alternative asset management firm was bought by SoftBank at the end of 2017 and has been making business decisions that are more conducive to growing long-term instead of making their shareholders happy. The company has been known for its unique investment decisions since its founding in 1998 by Rob Kauffman, Randal Nardone, and Wes Edens. While Wes Edens and Randal Nardone are still Principals of Fortress Investment Group, Rob Kauffman has left the company to pursue other opportunities and Peter Briger was named Principal.

Peter Briger first joined Fortress Investment Group in 2002 as a member of their Management Committee. He was then named to the Board of Directors in 2006 before being elected to Co-Chairman in 2009. Before Briger began working at Fortress Investment Group he had been with Goldman Sachs for a decade and a half and had been named Partner of the firm since 1996. He graduated in 1996 from Princeton University before attended the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania where he earned his MBA. In addition to his positions at FIG, he is part of the Board of Advisors at Center for a New American Security, an Advisory Board Member for CNBC, and a Board Member of Tipping Point Community.

SoftBank was able to complete its purchase of Fortress Investment Group for $3.1 billion but they have allowed the firm to operate essentially independently. SoftBank had expressed an interest in becoming a leader in the world of finance and the purchase of FIG allowed them access to the years of experience that the company has. They are known to be innovators who are well-versed in adapting to changes in the market. The company was private for almost a decade before going public in 2007 with an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. With the changing regulations and conditions of the market with public companies, being purchased by SoftBank has been a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Learn more about Fortress Investment Group: https://www.fortress.com/contact

October 02, 2019

DE Shaw and Fortress Mentality

There is much that we can learn about when we talk about DE Shaw and its recent wave of unfortunate events. One thing that we notice at every single company is the aspect of being under duress or extreme pressure in certain situations. How we choose to deal with these situations and make the most of our opportunities is up to us. We can have a positive frame of mind or a negative frame of mind. If we choose the latter, our actions will show what we want, and it might end up with negative consequences.

For instance, we can see that this example took place at DE Shaw recently. A current executive might have been under pressure or might have faced some issues in his life and acted in a wrong manner. See, the current executive was involved in some variation of sexual assault. He was the perpetrator of this specific situation.

Now, it is essential to note that many people can fail under pressure, even more so in extreme demand. Risk and pressure tolerance will vary for many, but those who overcome can succeed and grow in their business and life.

Unfortunately, this was not the case for our current executive at DE Shaw. Daniel Michalow is the executive of which we speak of today.

Daniel Michalow was let go from DE Shaw because of his series of issues in the workplace. Daniel Michalow did not have the right psychology or brain science in his particular situation and was affected by his specific mental models.

The case of Daniel is fascinating because it showed us a little window into the world of DE Shaw. See, we know that DE Shaw is a very secretive and hush-hush entity that doesn’t let anything (information-wise) get out of its premises. The fear from top management at DE Shaw is that people at DE Shaw might join Daniel. They might be lured away by more pay or more potential for progress and take their knowledge with them.

Daniel might be implementing goal setting techniques to bring on individuals to join his firm, and this might open up trouble for DE Shaw.