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You Can Call Fortress Chief Whatever You Want If He Made More Than $3 Billion On The Thing

Go ahead, call him the 'Subprime King'.
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No Angelo Mozilo.

In truth, Fortress Investment Group co-founder Wes Edens would prefer you not call him the new Subprime King. But after taking a bath on the collapse of the subprime market a few years ago, he’ll take it.

The New York company’s majority stake in subprime lender Springleaf Holdings Inc. has ballooned in value to $3.5 billion—putting the firm’s gain at more than 27 times Fortress’s original investment of $124 million in 2010. Buying the stake was Mr. Edens’s idea. Fortress also has turned around its $1 billion investment in Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc., led by Mr. Edens in 2006 but soon worthless, into $350 million in paper and actual gains….

The giant gains have helped offset recent stumbles by Fortress in its “macro” hedge-fund business—and made Mr. Edens the new subprime king. “It’s not how I want my epitaph to read,” he says of the label, “but it’s not a shameful thing helping people finance themselves. It’s not a bad thing.”

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