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March 10, 2019

2018 Proved Fortress Investment Group was a Good Get for SoftBank

What’s been made clear after 20 years of operation, it’s that Fortress Investment Group succeeds in the field of investment because they work undeterred by risk if the reward seems promising enough. It’s an approach that’s been rewarded time and again, growing them portfolio into an impressive collection of businesses that drew the attention of investors.

In the end it was SoftBank that won out and got control of the investment group’s $40 billion portfolio. But to more thoughtful observers, the real acquisition was Fortress Investment Group’s people and the approach to investing they developed while working to make bold decisions. This method of high risk and reward is why SoftBank hasn’t interfered in how they do business. Executives within the group remain in charge of daily functions, while SoftBank reclines in their seat on the board to receive updates.

2018 may appear to have been another typical year for Fortress Investment Group, despite big changes taking place behind the scenes. Two big acquisitions were made in South Florida last year. The first was mega food distributor SuperValu out in Pompano Beach. The other was a Tiffany & Co. store in a prime location in Palm Beach. Already there are plans to expand that second site to increase potential office space.

But in early 2018, it was made emphatically clear that the investment group was looking at industries for investment beyond real estate. In a series of interviews, CEO Rajeev Misra stated their interest in tech companies. More specifically, Fortress Investment Group would be looking into 100 tech companies in an effort to become their majority shareholders.

Misra’s plan was to get this done with the help of SoftBank’s Vision fund. This would allow them to scout tech companies that were already in their wheelhouse. This meant focusing on tech companies that were already servicing real estate needs and functions, like OpenDoor, Compass, and Katerra.

Long before they were acquired, Fortress Investment Group, made it clear to the investing world that they were interested in risky ventures that they would eventually turn out profitable for their investors. SoftBank was interested in that track record. Looking over their performance in 2018, it seems they got exactly that, and this investment group remains one with the talent and experience to keep growing a portfolio that matches their own excellence.

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