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

Second, our business generates variable incentive fees based on performance and realizations. Incentive income of $52 million was up slightly from Q4. We made progress during the quarter towards generating potential future incentive income with improved performance in Macro and continued valuation gains in Private Equity. Credit remains positioned to be a meaningful contributor to the incentive line with all main fund NAV above the high watermarks or preferred thresholds. In the end, our incentive income is less predictable than management fees, but as we've seen in past periods, it can be a meaningful contributor to DE.

The big news of the quarter, though, is capital formation. We had $2.9 billion in new capital commitments in the first quarter, our largest single quarter capital raised since 2008. That doesn't include $2.3 billion in net inflows at Logan Circle. These commitments came from approximately 150 investors, and we've continued to see 2 important trends in our LP base.

First, the base of expanding and becoming more diverse. Over 30% of our first quarter commitments came from new investors, and over 30% came from international investors. Second, we continue to deepen relationships with existing investors who accounted for the major portion of commitments. Approximately half of our AUM today is from LPs invested in 2 or more of our businesses.

The largest driver of the new commitments was our next-generation Credit Opportunities Fund, FCO III. The fund raised over $3.7 billion through the end of the quarter. That compares to $2.3 billion for FCO II, which was raised in 2009.

Also in Credit, our second Japan Opportunities Fund and our first dedicated global real estate fund accounted for nearly $1 billion of commitments through March. These funds highlight a dynamic I addressed on our last call, a growing LP preference for more focused strategies. At Fortress, we've had the benefit of being able to launch focused strategies based on expertise incubated within our main investment platforms.

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