Anthony Scaramucci on His Road to Success (Founder of Skybridge Capital)



I'm here today with Anthony scare Moochie who is the founder of skybridge Capital and Anthony cannot thank you enough for your time today really really appreciate it before we begin let's talk a little bit about your background and what it was like growing up as a kid so my dad he originally started as a labourer never going to college spent two years in the Army my mother was a homemaker he directly benefited from what I call the light blue collar job meaning he had such demand for labor post-world War two that he was getting paid not a white collar wage but he was getting paid more than you would typically get paid in a blue-collar situation and so in fact most people in the post-war boom benefited from that my family certainly did and so we grew up resoundingly in the middle class I would never disrespect my mom or dad by telling you I grew up poor I did not grow up poor I had a we had a small house was a great house we had air conditioning and heat and food and Sears tough skins and it was a it was a fun time to grow up in the 1970s on Long Island and I am the product of a very good public school system in the town of Port Washington so I'm a big believer in public schools so my dad one of his buddies said hey where you going to send your kids to school and my dad said well you know probably a local college like Adelphi or city boast he said oh no no you got you got to send your kids to a school called Tufts University so he came home one night he told my older brother listen you're going to Tufts University my brother said okay what is that that had he spell it he said T ough s you didn't really know ha and so we looked it up in the Barron's book my brother's like dad this is like most selective I don't know how we're going to get into school you know but my brother was very smart a good grades he got into Tufts my grades were not as good as my brothers in high school I did well at Tufts I got a little bit more academic religion once I got there but but so we both with Tufts and never had Tufts I was looking for a career and I decided that I wanted to make more money than my dad and so they were paying lawyers at these like white-shoe law firms in New York City $65,000 ears by like 1985 alright so my dad is probably making thirty nine forty thousand at the time I was like okay my god this is like more money than I can want or need so I made a snap decision which most 21 year olds do I'm going to take the LSAT I'm going to go to law school and I'm going to make myself sixty five thousand dollars a year and so so I did that okay and so you went to law school but then you ended up not pursuing a law career you ended up going into finance and you went to Goldman Sachs ently so to stay on the word association game with colleges my mother thought it was hard for law school so when I told her I was going to Harvard she's like okay that's great we're packing the car Labor Day to go up there she's like okay we're going to Hartford I'm like no no ma we're going to welcome to Harvard she's a good but isn't it in Hartford I said no ma it's not in Hartford you know so they didn't really know like the different schools or really care about the difficulty just wanted me to get a legal education and so I came home from Thanksgiving I didn't really see myself as a lawyer in sighs two months at Harvard Law School I told my folks that I wanted to leave Harvard Law School and I was going to go get a job and then I was going to try to get into the Harvard Business School I thought I was going to be a business person well you know I don't have a Jewish mother but I got an Italian mother let me tell you something okay the Italians don't have Woody Allen so you have no idea how crazy an Italian mother is or how much guilt they can give you but so she was like you know suicidal she was moving in today I'm going to go kill myself mode I said okay ma forget it I'll finish Harvard Law School so I did and I spent the last two years of our law school looking for an alternative career and I found my way over to Goldman Sachs and so you you did it interestingly you did a little bit of Investment Banking than you did asset management yeah well over there yeah work in the asset management group that's an interesting way to say it but that's not really what happened if I'm going to tell you what happened is they hired meeting the investment bank I was absolutely terrible at the job and so Goldman had a good management structure back then so what do you think happens to you when you're terrible at a job you get fired nothing going you know one wire becomes no wire right so ah they fired me I got hired in August of 1989 I was fired on February 1st 1991 that was a Friday night so you could look that up I'm Ty remember like it was just because I was horrified sure I was a walking junk bond I had $150,000 of school debt Mike facet Ella he was running a real estate department there he went on to become a CEO of her Nadeau Realty terrific human being is a very close friend I did me the biggest favor anybody could do it do he said look you're actually terrible at this job we're going through a little bit slow down so we're firing you I was horrified and and I left they gave me an $11,000 severance check and I walked out on Monday I was back in New York there were no cell phones got a roll of quarters and I was putting the quarters in different payphones around Midtown calling friends or whoever to try to get myself a job and then somebody I called said okay there's a job opening at Goldman Sachs I said okay you gotta be kidding me and so where is it it's in the sales area up on the 29th floor at 85 broad strip okay so the first column it was the mic fast Ellis look he just fired me I said but there's a job opening on 24 I'm not a bad guy I might be better at that job than the one that I just got fired from so he say hey look you're a good guy I'll refer you look at the interview at least and so I got the interview and I got rehired into goldman sachs on March 28th so I was fired and rehired so we can glorify that and we can pretend that I was in Investment Banking and then I moved over to sales and we can try to modify history but that's not really how it happened I got hired I got fired and I got rehired well I gotta say I love the story and love the fact that you you know tell it just that way I was humiliating yeah you know also location is good for people III think so only in hindsight right I think while you're going through it you never think that it is but I'll tell you why it was good for me because and I say to a lot of kids you know I was so insecure coming at a at a law school that I wanted the coolest job you know I wanted to go to that cocktail party at Harvard Law School and tell people oh you know I'm working in real estate in the investment banking area and and I'm the coolest guy because I got the coolest job and so the problem with that is that it was the worst job for me no you know and so it was a big resonating lesson about you kind of do things you really like to do and don't get sucked into the hype or the social status of certain things you know focus on things that are fun and that you're comfortable doing it you're comfortable in your own skin you know you know you did the banking you've done asset management you've done a number of different things which is fascinating so when I sit there and try to define who you are as a person are you a money manager or you a manager of a fund of funds are you an entrepreneur that has his own TV show now you know you've written a number of books I mean it's amazing all the various things you've done but if channel Dadd appropriately probably right listen I I think I'm in the relationship business right so I don't really know if I'm in the asset management business or I'm in the television business but what I think I really am is in the relationship business and so when I think of my life I'm trying to build really good relationships and I think the way you develop relationships there's a lot of different elements to it but one of them is consistency and just try to be good person to a lot of people and hopefully they'll return the favor by being a good person to you how'd you come up with the idea of the soft conference because that thing's been a phenomenal success every hedge fund manager I know goes to it every analyst wants to go to it it really is a remarkable event how did you come up with the idea and where do you see going over the future let me taste well we were about to go out of business it was 2008 our fund was contracting we were imperiled we were sitting in this very office trying to think about things that we were going to do to save our business and we weren't coming up with anything by March of 2009 the Dow had gotten to like 6500 the SP was around 660 let's going back into the mid 90s that's where the clearance trading and I thought okay this is it we're going out of business President Obama came on the air on the TV he said hey look now's not the time to go to Vegas and be our fat cat with a private plane you should land the plane any big bank that had tarp money so who started canceling their conferences in Vegas so you know I understand why they did that and I also understand why the president even said that because of the stress that was in the system at that point right but that was not good for the city of aigis because in addition to the facts there are maids and bellhops and porters and it really hurt the middle class community in Las Vegas and it created a big opportunity so Viktor Oviedo one of my partner's he walks in here he says okay listen we're going to create a conference we're going to go to Las Vegas create a conference and we got to do this because if we're right and we're at the bottom of the market we're going to have a big conference franchise if we're wrong it'll be like our farewell party like the cut Titanic will be playing the violins on the Titanic yeah so I could give you this big sexy story about it but that's really how what happened it was an accidental experiment by us born from the crisis

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