June 6, 2023

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High Profile: Anthony Scaramucci

Anthony Scaramucci is among the foremost names in global finance. The lifelong Long Islander and part-time Hamptonite is a mover-and-shaker, whose expert insight and entrepreneurial acumen is sought by those whose decisions shape our world and keep the economy afloat.

He was born and raised in an Italian-American, middle-class family in Port Washington. After graduating from high school, he would go on to secure his Bachelor’s Degree from Tufts University, and then his Juris Doctorate from Harvard. His tenure at Harvard would partially coincide with fellow alumnus, President Barack Obama, among many other high profile graduates.

After graduating from law school, he would start his storied career in finance with investment and financial services titan, Goldman Sachs, as a private wealth manager. He would then start his own firm, co-founding investment partnership Oscar Capital Management, which sold to Neuberger Berman in 2001.

“I grew up in a blue-collar family in Port Washington, a diverse town on the North Shore of Long Island. My father was a crane operator at the local sand mine, having migrated to the area with his brother from Wilkes Barre, PA in response to a classified job ad. My brother David and I were the first generations of their family to go to college,” Scaramucci says. “The modesty of our upbringing instilled in me a humility, but also a burning hunger to succeed in business. … My ambition was a double-edged sword early in my career as I chased the highest-paying and most prestigious jobs. Ultimately, I was able to shed the insecurity of being an outsider on Wall Street and start two successful businesses: Oscar Capital, which was sold to Neuberger Berman, and then SkyBridge.”

In 2005, Scaramucci began SkyBridge Capital, which has grown into a multibillion-dollar firm, where he remains managing partner. Billing itself as an alternative investment firm that invests in, and manages, assets that are outside of traditional asset categories, Scaramucci has built his company into among the most high-profile in the U.S. “I recognize my own strengths and weaknesses and have never been a traditional command-and-control CEO, nor have I ever carried that title despite being the managing partner of the firm,” Scaramucci says. “I drive the strategic direction of the firm but also lead from the front when it comes to sales and marketing. … SkyBridge is not a place where there are frequent meetings or a highly structured hierarchy, but a firm where the partners and employees are encouraged to be entrepreneurial. Ultimately, I hope the firm has taken on my personality: scrappy, tireless, nimble and resilient.”

Scaramucci has been dubbed by many a thought leader and someone whose vision for the future of the American economy is noted and considered by everyone from the retail investor to the nation’s top corporate executives.

“While my primary focus has always been on business and philanthropy, I am also fiercely patriotic, dating back to my adolescence in the heyday of Ronald Reagan. At our annual SALT, originally an acronym for “SkyBridge Alternatives, conferences,” he notes, “the content is a mix of conversations around investing, technology and nonpartisan public policy, all revolving around a theme of pragmatism. … We want to help move America forward to a healthier place by facilitating conversations among a diverse coalition of people, ranging from politicians to asset allocators to tech entrepreneurs. We believe it is through common prosperity that we will be able to resolve our societal differences, and we are laser-focused on catalyzing growth and innovation.”

For those who follow politics, Scaramucci became a household name in the wake of the 2016 presidential campaign. The legendary financier was considered for various cabinet positions and was a close economic advisor to then-President-elect Donald Trump. He was interviewed in the lobby of Trump Tower before and after meeting with the President’s Transition Team, holding a seat on the 16-person Executive Committee, which built the Executive leadership of U.S. government which would lead our nation for the next four years.

“I was more surprised than anyone when Donald Trump named me to his 16-person presidential transition team executive committee,” he says. “I was making a television appearance when I found out the news, despite having expressed my doubts to Trump about serving in that role. The biggest surprise for me during the transition process was the bureaucracy and special interests that drive so many appointments in government. … When outsiders were floated for positions, it became difficult to get them through for one reason or another. One of my biggest regrets about the federal government is that members of the American business community are dissuaded from public service. Barriers have been erected to keep them out of government and we haven’t changed with the times. Thus, we’re left with administrations full of career officials — many of which are smart and capable — that rob the American people of varied viewpoints in the policymaking process.”

Scaramucci is no stranger to the media. Prior to his role in the Trump administration, he served as a contributor at Fox News. He would be appointed as White House communications director after a brief stint as chief strategy officer of the Export-Import, or EXIM, Bank.

While Scaramucci’s term at the White House podium would be brief, he has been no stranger to the television set. Picking up where he left off at SkyBridge, he is now a contributor at the CNBC Business Network, where he appears frequently on the network’s top-rated programming, such as Squawk Box. His voice can be heard emanating from millions of American television sets on a myriad of topics, of late, including the emerging spaces of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

“I consider myself a strong communicator. In my role at SkyBridge, I have often acted as a spokesperson for the alternative investment meant management industry, willing to go on TV and be quoted in the paper on topics many managers shy away from,” he says. “It has led to private praise from members of the industry as my outspokenness helps promote common-sense regulation and fairer coverage. Perhaps the most direct reason for my short stint in Washington was my naivete about how Washington operates — both relating to politics and media,” Scaramucci says. “My strength as a communicator and my first White House press briefing backfired as both journalists and bureaucrats sought to take me out of the game. If I had been more attuned to the Washington scumbaggery, I would have lasted longer, and I believe I would have had a positive impact on Trump administration policymaking.”

These sectors of the American economy are emerging and Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are quickly becoming part of the American vernacular. With the mainstreaming of the technology, and institutions, banks, governments and everyday investors becoming more open to digital assets, it has been Scaramucci who has been a leader in the movement. So much so that one of the industry’s leading publications, CoinTelegraph, ranked Scaramucci in its “Top 50” most influential in the industry.

“Bitcoin and crypto are game-changers in two different broad ways: First, as a new non-sovereign store of value not subject to the whims of irresponsible government bureaucrats, and second, as a new technology paradigm that lowers costs and increases access to financial services,” says Scaramucci. “Crypto is a disintermediating force, cutting banks and governments out as the toll-taking middle-men in business and finance, instead of returning control to the hands of the user. We are in the early stages of a new technology-driven paradigm shift in economics and society, whereby decentralization will bolster a healthy democratic process and empower the individual.”

Scaramucci has received countless accolades throughout his career. He has earned a spot among the nation’s most powerful, including in 2011, being named Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” — and his perspective is trusted by those who shape our economy. “I see myself as a bridge between the traditional finance world — ‘tradfi’ — and the decentralized crypto-driven economy — ‘defi.’ While some clients have expressed mixed feelings about SkyBridge’s evolution as a firm into a significant investor in the crypto economy, I believe we are doing everyone a favor. While high volatility is typical in a nascent asset class, I believe those that take a long-term view will be rewarded for their patience and vision,” says Scaramucci.

Todd Shapiro is an award-winning publicist and associate publisher of Dan’s Papers.

High Profile: Anthony Scaramucci