Hedge Funds

Fortress invests in Florida bank


Fortress Investment Group is the latest financial institution betting on strong future returns from community banks. The listed hedge fund and private equity group has partnered with private equity firms Crestview Partners and Lightyear Capital to take a controlling interest in First Southern Bancorp, a Florida community bank.

The investment group will inject roughly $800 million into First Southern Bancorp to be split equally to ensure that none of the parties exceed the 24.9% federal limit the government imposes on private ownership of banks. Gene Taylor, an operating executive at Fortress who joined the firm last year from his previous post as vice chairman for Bank of America,