Wall Street Journal – Eager to keep one of its key employees, publicly traded Fortress Investment Group LLC has lavished a $300 million share grant on one of its star traders, 38-year-old Adam Levinson.
Mr. Levinson, who also is the chief investment officer of one the firm’s main funds, joins the private-equity and hedge-fund giant’s five other controlling shareholders, who together hold some $3 billion of company stock. These executives haven’t sold any shares since the company went public in 2007 and own 77% of the business.
Fortress has struggled mightily in its 18 months as a public company, losing two-thirds of its peak value amid brutal markets for financial firms.
Mr. Levinson’s windfall — which was alluded to in a May filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission — highlights the quandary of publicly traded private-investment outfits. On the one hand, they must compensate elite traders and dealmakers richly enough so they don’t leave for a competitor or start their own firms. The heads of large private hedge funds such as Citadel Investment Group and Paulson & Co. can — and have — earned billions of dollars in a single year.