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Fortress Investment (FIG) Co-Founder Robert Kauffman To Retire

 December 24, 2012 09:41 AM

(By Balaseshan) Fortress Investment Group LLC (NYSE: FIG), a global investment management firm, said its principal and director Robert Kauffman has elected to retire from the company and its board of directors after a 15-year career.

Kauffman's retirement is effective immediately. With Co-Chairman and Director, Wesley Edens, and interim CEO and Director Randal Nardone, Kauffman co-founded Fortress in 1998.

Kauffman has held a range of leadership roles at Fortress, including responsibility for the management of the firm's European private equity investment operations and, most recently, board-level oversight of Logan Circle Partners, the company's long-only fixed-income business.

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In conjunction with Kauffman's retirement announcement, Fortress will redeem or purchase all of Kauffman's beneficially owned shares in the company, which totaled about 51.3 million class A or equivalent shares as of December 21 at a price equivalent to $3.50 per share.

As a result of this transaction, Fortress's dividend-paying share count will be reduced by about 10%, with immediate effect. Fortress will fund the transaction through a combination of available cash and a 14-month note.

"Rob was part of the leadership team of Fortress even before the company had a name. As a Principal and Board member, Rob has contributed to Fortress's evolution from a start-up boutique into one of the industry's largest and most diverse investment managers. We are grateful to Rob for his years of service, and wish him the best in his future endeavors," said Nardone.

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Fortress' offering of alternative investment products includes private equity funds, liquid hedge funds and credit funds. In addition, it offers traditional investment products.

FIG is trading up 1.69% at $4.20 on Monday. The stock has been trading between $2.86 and $4.83 for the past 52 weeks.

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