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Fortress co-founder Kauffman announces retirement

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Fortress Investment Group Principal and Director Robert Kauffman has elected to retire from the company and its Board of Directors after a 15 year career at the firm.

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

In conjunction with Kauffman’s announced retirement, Fortress will redeem or purchase all of his beneficially owned shares in the company, which totalled approximately 51.3 million class A or equivalent shares as of 21 December, 2012. The company will repurchase Kauffman’s ownership interests at a price equivalent to USD3.50 per share. As a result of this transaction, Fortress’s dividend-paying share count will be reduced by approximately 10%, with immediate effect. Fortress will fund the transaction through a combination of available cash and a 14 month note.

“It has been a privilege to be able to work with such a talented and motivated group of people,” says Kauffman. “I am proud to have contributed to the growth of Fortress into what it is today, and I wish the best of success to the entire team.”

“Rob was part of the leadership team of Fortress even before the company had a name,” says Nardone. “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 endeavours.”

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