Randal Nardone, Seasoned Private Equity Executive

On the Forbes list of billionaires for the year, 2007, Randal Alan Nardone was ranked number 557. Randal is Co-Founder, Principal and Director of Fortress Investment Group. He earned his undergraduate degree from University of Connecticut and received his professional legal degree (J.D.) from Boston University School of Law. Long before achieving billionaire status as an entrepreneur; Randal was honing his legal skills and fine tuning his business acumen through working for others. After earning his law degree, his started a legal career with the New York law firm, Thacher Proffitt & Wood. He would later become a partner before transitioning into the investment arena; working for two prestigious firms, Blackrock Financial Management and UBS Switzerland.

Fortress Investment Group was formed by Randal Nardone and four other partners in 1998. The firm deals in alternative assets, real estate investments and closed end funds. In two decades as a business entity, the investment company has reached many milestones; but perhaps none more important than becoming the first US private equity firm to be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Fortress has created separate business legs, these include Fortress Registered Investment Trust, and Fortress Credit Corporation. Randal is also the Principal and Director of Fortress Registered Investment Trust. This is a closed end fund (CEF) created in 1999. Randal Nardone’s career earnings after the public shares were traded reached $1.8 billion. He played a pivotal role in the acquisition of Fortress Investment Group by SoftBank. Nardone reflected on the strategic developments, he said that any type of deal that can be made as private equity firm, increases share dividends also referred to as stock dividends.

Because this attracts new investors, which Nardone says will help drive new business since private investments are slowing down. The $3.3 billion deal with SoftBank was “the right move” at the precise time.Essentially, SoftBank purchased Fortress Investment Trust shares at $8.08, which was considerably higher than their NYSE value of $5.83. The deal offered solid footing for Fortress moving forward with positive developments. SoftBank will add assets to the firm. Randal Nardone is also credited with being instrumental in avoiding acquired assets before the real estate collapse. He lead his firm into investments that were prospering, despite downturns in the economy. Fortress Investment Group purchased commodities such as railways, ski resorts and casinos. Areas that weren’t affected by the subprime borrowers.

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