Fortress first quarter earnings drop 52%

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Fortress Investment Group, the first alternative investment management company to go public in the United States, suffered a year-over-year decline in net income of 52% in the first quarter.

The loss came despite a 90% year-over-year increase in pretax earnings, buoyed by a total increase in assets under management to $36 billion, up 72% from the first quarter of 2006.

First quarter earnings of the firm’s liquid hedge funds, managed by Michael Novogratz, were down 54%, to $33 million, from the year-earlier period. Earnings for the firm’s less liquid hybrid vehicles, run by Peter Briger, doubled to $44