Are The People Of Fortress Investment Group Heroes Or Villians?

Controversy surrounds Fortress Investment Group

Teenage Investing One Dollar At A TimeCredit: Ryan Canady

The purpose of investment management firms is to make their investors as much money in the market as possible. This is the work of the Fortress Investment Group and has been since the company was founded in 1998.

The company is estimated to have nearly 900 employees who work to make sure that the shareholders of this company continue to grow their profits. Fortress Investment Group claims on its home page of its website to use a variety of different strategies to get the investment results that it wants to have. 

The Controversy Over Fortress Investment Group

In a April 2009 edition of Vanity Fair, noted author Bethany McLean was very critical of the people who took Fortress Investment Group public. She made the argument that the people who did this have become arrogant and should not be worth the amount of money that they are. She tries to say that they have become unbelievably wealth in a short amount of time with very little contribution to society. 

McLean notes the fact that the five heads of this company were able to make 10.5 billion dollars for themselves when the company went public on the NYSE in 2007. While she is careful to point out that this is just paper wealth, the fact that these men made so much money so quickly is important.

On The Flip Side

While some dislike the company, others applaud it for the hard work that it has done. There is no doubt that Fortress Investment Group has certainly done a lot to provide a nice return to shareholders. Perhaps even more important than that though is the community service that this company has engaged in.  The company is quick to point out that it has been able to donate some three million dollars to approximately 500 charities on its community engagement page.

This all begs the question, is it okay for a company like Fortress Investment Group to charge high fees and make some people incredibly wealthy if they also help out the community and their investors? This is just something that we are all left to decide for ourselves.