Wes Edens made his fortune as the co-founder, with brother Michael, of the PE firm Fortress Investment Group. Edens is also a philanthropist — he donated more than $100 million to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Edens is not just giving money away either. In this video interview with WSJ, Wes breaks down what it means to be an entrepreneur and how each person has their own role that they need to play while building a company successful enough to create real impact
While on the surface it seems like Wes Edens is using his wealth to help people, that’s really not the case. Here’s how he puts it in this WSJ article: “I don’t want to be a philanthropist,” Mr. Edens told the Journal. “I want to be a partner in other people’s dreams. I have a bigger impact by being a partner. I can leverage my wealth and not be the one making all the decisions.”
This may seem like splitting hairs—indeed, it is—but this distinction is important in terms of how he thinks about money. Edens has more money than he will ever have time to spend, so he needs to find a way to put it back into play.
And this is why investing in partnerships is the most efficient way to ensure his money continues to have a positive impact. If he gives it away, it’s gone and probably won’t have a lasting impact (and there’s some reason to believe that giving away his wealth essentially makes him less effective at being an entrepreneur). But if he invests, he still has money to put toward other projects, which could be just as effective at achieving his goals of making the world better and supporting the people around him.