Fortress Credit Chief Briger Moving to San Francisco as Firm Opens Office

Peter Briger, co-chairman of Fortress Investment Group LLC and head of the credit unit, will move to San Francisco and open a new office for the asset- management firm.

Briger’s deputy, Dean Dakolias, and other members of his group also will move west, along with a number of traders, the New York-based firm said yesterday in an e-mail to employees. The firm also announced personnel changes including the departure of Jarett Wait, who oversees investor relations and capital formation globally.

“Our business in Japan is big and growing, which requires me to spend more time on the phone and traveling to Asia,” Briger said yesterday in a telephone interview. He said the move will take place late next year.

Briger is moving for personal as well as professional reasons, according to the e-mail. He and his team oversee about $11.6 billion in assets. Fortress, which also has a West Coast office in Los Angeles, managed $41.7 billion in private-equity, hedge-fund and fixed-income investments as of midyear, according to its website.

In addition, the firm’s credit private-equity funds have about $4.1 billion of uncalled or recallable committed capital that will become assets under management when invested, according to its second-quarter earnings release.

Adam Levinson, co-chief investment officer of global macro funds, will move to Singapore to lead the buyout and hedge-fund firm’s expansion in Asia.

‘Impact of Asia’

“With the impact of Asia and particularly Japan in credit and the location of Pete’s investors and competition in the area, the move makes sense,” Chief Executive Officer Daniel Mudd said in the e-mail. “He may be moving to San Francisco but he ain’t going anywhere.”

Gordon Runte, a spokesman for Fortress, confirmed the authenticity of the internal e-mail. Wait didn’t respond to an e-mail request for comment after regular business hours.

David Cody, a fundraiser in the company’s credit unit, left in April after helping create its hybrid-fund business, according to two people with direct knowledge of that move.

Fortress was founded as a private-equity firm in 1998 by Wesley Edens, Robert Kauffman and Randal Nardone. The company hired Briger and Michael Novogratz, both Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partners, in 2002 to expand into hedge funds, real estate and debt securities. Briger spent 15 years at Goldman Sachs in positions including co-head of the Asian distressed-debt business.

Fortress closed the Fortress Japan Opportunity Domestic Fund in June, saying it would invest in real estate debt and other assets in Japan over the next 12 months.

Private-equity firms, which have their roots in the leveraged buyouts of the 1980s, pool money from investors to take over companies, usually with a mix of cash and debt, with the intention of selling them later for a profit.

Hedge funds are loosely regulated pools of capital whose managers can hold a mix of investments and share in profits.

To contact the reporters on this story: Cristina Alesci in New York at Calesci2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net

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