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Fortress Investment Group LLC's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Before we begin, let me remind you that statements made today that are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements. And these statements are, by their nature, uncertain and may differ materially from actual results. We encourage you to read the forward-looking statement disclaimer in today's earnings release in addition to the risk factors described in our quarterly and annual filings.

With that, let me hand off to Randy.

Randal Alan Nardone

Thanks, Gordon, and thanks, everyone, for joining us today. Let me pick up where I left off from our last earnings call just 2 months ago. I described positive momentum on a number of fronts: capital formation, investment performance and the growing embedded value on our balance sheet and in our funds. I indicated that this momentum was carrying into 2012, and that's exactly what we saw during the first quarter. Reflecting confidence in our prospects going forward, the board approved a dividend payout of $0.05 a share for the first quarter. As a reminder, we intend to pay a base dividend in each quarter.

Beginning this year, we intend to supplement the fourth quarter dividend with a top-up dividend based on full year performance. Our base quarterly dividend represents a dividend yield of over 5%.

Let me recap some of the other key items from the first quarter and provide color on what we anticipate for the rest of the year. We generated pretax distributable earnings of $57 million or $0.11 a share in the first quarter. Dan will provide more detail in a few minutes, but let me highlight a few points.

First, our business was designed to provide a stable, predictable stream of management fees with the majority of AUM in long-term investment structures. This was the case in the first quarter with management fees of $118 million, roughly flat to Q4. Our $6.4 billion in dry powder, plus the commitments to be raised in funds still in the market, together with the permanent capital that can be raised through new capital, all point to potential to grow this base of earnings.

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