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Mentorship with Anthony Scaramucci, Founder, SkyBridge Capital

Mar 4, 2021

Young Jewish Professionals’ recent virtual installment of its Mentorship with Finance Leaders series featured Anthony Scaramucci, the founder and co-managing partner of SkyBridge Capital, and was moderated by Nicholas Tsafos, the partner-in-charge of EisnerAmper’s New York office.

Here’s a brief breakdown of a few of the topics discussed:

How did Scaramucci get started?

Scaramucci detailed how his mother and father never went to college, and his father was a crane operator as an hourly worker. He was encouraged to go to college so he went to Tufts University and then to Harvard University, then landed a job in investment banking where he got fired from his first job. His advice that followed seemed to stick with the group: If you get fired, be nice to the company that fired you and make adjustments to improve your position. He also advised not to be entitled and not to be a victim; and that the first thing to do is forgive yourself for mistakes that you’ve made.

What does he look for in portfolio managers?

Scaramucci looks for people that love what they do and have adaptability, creativity, and confidence. He looks for people that are emotionally unattached from their decision-making, and he mentions how hiring people to stay for the long-term is important because the team needs to trust each other in order to make better decisions. Somebody that jumps off their resume and fits into the culture is important to him.

What’s his outlook for the next couple years with regards to COVID-19?

Scaramucci describes himself as a cautious investor, and believes as the Federal Reserve relaxes, buys securities, and increases the money supply, asset prices will improve. He mentions how there is pent-up consumption, which will hopefully result in increased spending in the near future, and technology will continue to advance. He said an increase of capital to the market will smooth out the liquidity crisis and there will be a better monetary policy than following similar crises such as the Great Depression period, starting in 1929. He is bullish about the next decade, but advises to prepare for risk of future catastrophes.

What are Scaramucci’s thoughts on the recent trends of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs)?

Scaramucci said that SPACs were born from over-regulation because it is increasingly difficult to take a company from private to public, and a SPAC provides an easier path to do so. He said new ideas will always come in and out of fashion, but SPACs are here to stay.

What led Scaramucci to start SkyBridge Capital?

Scaramucci said entrepreneurs have to have “blind stupidity.”  He recounted he made a lot of money at Goldman Sachs but wanted to control his own destiny -- so at age 32 he took a pay cut to start his own business. He advised attendees to go with their passion, with something that they will excel in.

What changes would Scaramucci like to see from Biden administration?

Although Scaramucci admits he’s not as close to politics compared to when he was in Trump’s transition team, he says he believes the Department of Labor will renew its attention to the fiduciary rule, which should foster developments soon. He also mentioned that even though the Obama administration increased regulation, Biden’s economic team has generally not overregulated yet with many industries including the financial services industry, and he hopes this trend continues.

What does he feel about the future of the hedge fund industry?

Scaramucci stated that there are $4 trillion of assets in hedge funds, so the industry is alive, thriving, and adapting. Short sellers are adapting also, even with the recent events of the short squeeze of GameStop and other companies. Although Scaramucci said there is a worry about the negative effects of monetary policy that will drive the economic divide further apart, he’s bullish on the hedge fund industry that did pretty well in 2020 despite the events surrounding COVID-19, and believes it will continue to do well in the future.

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