Some of the most successful brands have combined two essential skill sets. You might think of Mercedes and Benz. Is this what the Fortress Investment Group did when it allowed itself to be purchased by SoftBank? This buyout combined the “Hard” of Fortress and “Soft” of SoftBank.
Well Balanced Meal
Do you remember when your mother told you to “eat your vegetables?” Of course, you were a child and did not know much, but you knew that vegetables were not as sweet as ice cream. Father and mother knew better.
They understood that a well balanced meal was essential to growing up to be strong. The same can be true for business. Many types of skills are needed to be successful.
A company needs managers, salesmen and engineers to perform their roles. The Fortress Investment Group offers both the leadership and capital to make businesses successful. This is the “Hard” element to building up a strong foundation.
The core of the Fortress portfolio strength is infrastructure, property, railroads and resorts. These all have valuable real estate. They provide the land for production, Fortress provides the capital.
Eat Your Vegetables
If you ever take a Nutrition class in high school, you might learn about why your mama wanted you to eat vegetables. See, each food has its own nutrients. Vegetables have certain key nutrients that ice cream simply doesn’t have.
The same can be true for SoftBank versus the Fortress Investment Group. Both are financial institutions, but SoftBank might have an advantage in terms of certain ideas. The SoftBank vision is to build a future based on Asian technology, such as electronics.
SoftBank might have a better vision for the future than some American financial institutions. Realistically, after the 2008 Sub-Prime Crisis, many American banks have been looking over their shoulders. They have worried about their own financial well-being.
The Japanese were hit hard, but the crisis was foreign to them. It was primarily an Anglo crisis due to American sub-prime debtors. Therefore, the Japanese SoftBank was able to continue to focus on creating the new infrastructure for the future.
The “Soft” element is the vision, idea or strategy. This is what SoftBank has, along with innovation and surplus capital. If you remember watching the sci-fi thriller movie, Blade Runner, you might recall that it looked a lot like a future Tokyo would.
Combining Synergies for Mastery
Success is not easy. A meal is not just ice cream. By combining “Hard” and “Soft,” the SoftBank purchase of the Fortress has created the foundation for a potential success story.
There are rumors from the Financial Times that SoftBank waived day-to-day control to complete the acquisition of Fortress. With the trio of Edens, Nardone and Briger, there was no reason to assign a new manager to oversee the Fortress hedge fund. Which SoftBank executive has the expertise or connections of these three billionaires? Fortress provides the “Hard” infrastructure and SoftBank provides the “Soft” vision for the future infrastructure.
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