FIG Partners with Richard Branson’s Virgin Group

Fortress Investment Group Enters a Partnership and Trademark Contract with Virgin

The co-founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson announced a partnership and trademark licensing agreement with Brightline this month. Wes Edens is the co-founder of Fortress Investment Group and Chairman of Brightline, a railway in Florida. Stipulations of the agreement entail changing the name of railway to Virgin Trains USA with the new brand to transition in 2019. Branson is a businessman and investor with over 400 companies he has a controlling interest in. He co-found the company in 1970 with his business partner, Nik Powell.

Fortress Investment Group is an independent investment management firm headquartered in New York managing over $41 billion in assets for international institutions and net-worth clients. The executives of Brightline and Fortress will manage and operate the railway company under the partnership and trademark agreement. In May 2018, services launched between Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Miami. Plans are in the making to expand to Orlando and Tampa, Florida. The partners expect the construction of the railway to begin next year connecting Las Vegas to California.

View the group’s profile on Linkedin.

The partnership between Virgin and Fortress Investment Group enables Brightline to extend its existing US rail lines. The destinations would be from Chicago to St. Louis, Houston to Dallas, and Atlanta to Charlotte. It’s listed in a SEC filing by Brightline three days after the signing of the partnering and trademark agreement. Biz Journals reported on November 20th, 2018 that the railway filed to go public with Security Exchange Commission. The document listed the company’s assets at $1.8 billion and revenue at $5.2 million as of the end of September.

Expectations of the Virgin Group and Fortress Investment Group comprise railway expansion and providing access to millions of consumers to increase ridership. It will make accessibility convenient for customers at Virgin’s Hotels, Travel, and Hospitality establishments. Virgin Trains has been in business for over 20 years in the United Kingdom providing approximately 38 million rides on the West Coast Main Line. Branson entered the railway industry in 1993 and today, has a net worth of $5.1 billion, as of this year.

Learn more: https://craft.co/fortress-investment-group

 

In Review: A Candid Conversation with the Host of NewsWatch TV

As a host on NewsWatch, Andrew Tropeano is in a position coveted by current and aspiring journalists. Yet, in a recent conversation with Interview.net, he made one thing perfectly clear: He is just getting started.

“I always knew I wanted to work in the field of journalism,” says Tropeano, “and I’m excited to be a part of such an exciting program and company.”

For the last eight years, NewsWatch has given Tropeano the opportunity to interview celebrities, leaders of Fortune 500 companies, and some of the sharpest minds working in tech. In addition to hosting duties, Andrew now also works as executive producer of the award-winning syndicated news program.

Since 1990, NewsWatch has informed its viewers on the latest developments in news and entertainment and given a platform for innovators from large and small businesses alike to show their stuff for a national television audience. Those behind the program are proud to say they have “helped all size companies and organizations achieve success.”

But, Tropeano thinks they can do better. His long-term goals for NewsWatch include expanding the show to more channels and online platforms, driving up its ratings, adding to the its reputation, and helping the show “become the go-to-source for everything from tech, to travel, to health.”

That may be ambitious, but Andrew has made clear he loves what he does, meaning that, for him, none of this work. And, he’s careful not to let setbacks and delays frustrate him, citing patience as the most valuable lesson he’s taken from his career. For those with similar aspirations, Tropeano’s advice is pretty simple: “Don’t give up,” and, “don’t let anyone else define success for you.”

GreenSky Credit grows by focusing on doing what works better than anyone else

GreenSky Credit has emerged as one of the top-growing companies in the fintech industry. And this has happened amid a collapsing landscape for many of the players within the sector. While OnDeck and Lending Club have crashed and burned in a heap of toxic ashes, GreenSky has soared, reaching a valuation of more than $5 billion and doing about that number of new loans every year.

Making it work by doing what works

The problem with so many of the Pollyannas of the fintech sector was their starry-eyed adherence to business models that had virtually no chance of ever working. While going after social-justice oriented goals may seem appealing for those who would like to change the world, such philosophies rarely turn out well in the ruthless global marketplace.

OnDeck and Lending Club thought that they could change the world too, that they would be the ones who would finally impose rigorous equality among all of the lending industry’s clients. Why couldn’t homeless transients who had never held a job own a 5,000-square-foot mini mansion? And for that matter, why couldn’t people with felony records and no income be extended small business loans on the same terms as prime borrowers? These were the questions that perplexed the founders and executives of many of GreenSky Credit’s wayward competitors. And these riddles would ultimately be answered by the age-old ruthless and decisive method, testing them in the free market. The resulting short-bus cliff dive is a matter of record now.

But David Zalik and GreenSky Credit had a far more sober and clear-sighted view. Zalik decided that GreenSky would concentrate only on proven lending strategies. Rather than trying to reshape the industry to some twisted Marxian image, Zalik would use technology to do more of what was proven to work. By following this strategy, GreenSky Credit was able to quickly impress lenders across the nation, easily convincing them to partner with the company in extending loans to borrowers who, on average, had FICO scores in the 760-plus range.

The result has been a company that gets a 6 percent fee from retailers while receiving a 1 percent annual carrying fee from lenders. The firm’s success continues unabated.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2018/09/05/greensky-now-looks-undervalued-given-strong-q2-performance-alliance-with-amex/#5d78658d5eda