There is a running gag in America that people who graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree in English should learn a key phrase to bolster their post-college careers. That phrase is: “Do you want fries with that?” Well, Randal Nardone is an English-major graduate of the University of Connecticut. Today he is ranked at the 553-position on the Forbes list of the world’s richest billionaires. To be fair, Nardone earned a double degree at UConn. His other focus was on biology.
But the real career starter for Randal Nardone was the law degree he went on to earn at the University of Boston, a Top 20 ranked school for lawyers. His excellent academic record easily landed him a job with the venerable New York City law firm, Thacher, Profit & Wood. It was while working there that Nardone became deeply involved in the legal aspects of finance – a subject he found intensely fascinating.
The latter would lead him to a top management role with USB. By 1996, Randal Nardone felt he had the legal expertise and the financial prowess to launch his own private equity investment firm. Along with two partners, he established The Fortress Investment Group (FIG) and history was about to be made.
Under the leadership of Randal Nardone, Fortress enjoyed rapid growth. By 2007, it had issued a successful IPO and was listed on the NYSE. That made it the first PE firm of significant size to be a publicly-traded entity. As of 2020, FIG was commanding assets of more than $45 billion.
The list of companies Randal Nardone is associated with includes many of the biggest names in American business. To name just a couple of them, Nardone was a principal with BlackRock Financial Management. He worked for the RIC Coinvestment Fund in a number of capacities, including portfolio manager and chief investment officer.