The following document is an approximate, but not exact, transcript of the Operational Leaders podcast conversation between host Terrance J. O’Malley and guest Anthony Scaramucci.
Please support the production of this podcast by downloading the Anthony Scaramucci episode.
Welcome to the Operational Leaders podcast featuring leaders and innovators in the investment management industry, where we discuss the business of running the business with host and top industry executive Terrance J. O’Malley.
Terrance O’Malley 0:21
My next guest founded SkyBridge capital in 2005. The firm’s investment team pioneered a high-conviction approach to alpha generation, expressed through a thematic and opportunistic investment style for fund of funds. And his firm produces the SkyBridge Alternatives or SALT conference. Please welcome Anthony Scaramucci.
Anthony Scaramucci 0:42
Terrance, thank you. It’s great to be here. Maybe I just take two seconds on SALT Talks because we’re working at home. And in lieu of our live conferences. We’ve been doing a series of 40 minute conversations with different high-profile guests from across the spectrum: political, authors, scientists, economists, people that are thinking about deficit spending. Steve Case is an example, the former founder of AOL. Today we had the founder of, this guy’s name is Jim McKelvey, he was the founder of Square. So we have this very eclectic thing. You can go to salt.org. If anybody has an interest in listening to any of these, either the recorded ones of people like Mark Cuban, or the forward ones, people like Ambassador John Bolton.
Terrance O’Malley 1:27
How long do you continue this series? How long do you think we will be in this state?
Anthony Scaramucci 1:32
Well, I think the series is very popular. So even if we return back to the office, I will likely continue the series. I think that will be one of the legacies from the pandemic. Now we have about 5000 subscribers on our SALT YouTube channel, and it seems to be growing every single week. And they’re the type of people that we would like to have relationships with. So I think we’ll continue that.
You’re asking me a very tough question. I hate to be the bearer of bad news. I just don’t see how we get out of this thing until the first or second quarter of next year. And so, you know, I’d love to think about us getting out of it earlier than that. But without a vaccine, the comfort of people working from their homes, particularly white-collar jobs, I don’t think people are going to want to put their families or their employees at risk. I think the school system – we’re learning already from the colleges, and the schools that have already started in the South where they started classes in August – you’re putting people at risk. And I think it’s very dangerous until we can get a vaccine. So probably not until March of next year.
Terrance O’Malley 2:39
So maybe next year for the SALT Conferences?
Anthony Scaramucci 2:42
Well, I’ve already booked for 2022. I haven’t booked anything for 2021. If it becomes opportunistic to do something in September of 2021, we’ll do it. We’ll have the flexibility to do that. But I’m really scheduling and targeting May of 2022.
Terrance O’Malley 2:59
So Anthony, if we get back to earlier in your career, can you just explain a little bit to our listeners, how did you end up getting started in the asset management field?
Anthony Scaramucci 3:10
Well, I got fired from my first job when I left Harvard Law School. So what happened to me was I went to become a real estate investment banker. Why did I do that? I was this insecure, 25 year old. And that seemed like the coolest highest paying job that I could get out of Harvard. And so guess what? I went to pursue that job. I got that job. But, Terrance, I sucked at it. And so I was there for 18 months. We were going through a recession, and Goldman let go 25% of its staff in the real estate department. I happened to be at the bottom, I would say quartile of performers. And so they fired me. I got fired on February 1, 1991. Not like I don’t remember it. And then I got rehired on May 28th back into Goldman.
There’s a quick funny story there. They fired me. I was out looking for a job. My buddy said, “Well, there’s a job in asset management, you can go interview for it.” This is a lesson for young people that may listen to your podcast – don’t burn any bridges. I picked up the phone and called the guy that fired me. I said, “Hey, could you recommend me for the job?” He said, “Yeah, I could recommend you for that job.” And he did. He recommended me for that job. And I got the job. And now I’m in the asset management side of Goldman. And four or five years later, I decided that I was going to leave. And so I started at Goldman in 1989. I got fired in 91. I got rehired in March of 91. And then I left in December of 1996 to start my first asset management company, which was a registered investment adviser.
And I’m going to tell a quick story because this is an operational podcast. I had no idea what I was doing. At Goldman, you had a computer problem? Hello tech. You had a phone problem. Hello phone. You had no problem. They did everything for you. They cleared the things. You put your [trade] tickets in – we actually had paper tickets back then if you could believe that – and you put them in and everything cleared and you opened up your computer screen, and there all the systems were up in front of you. And so when I started, I was like, “Oh, my God, this is way more complicated than I thought.” And I was spending a lot of time on operational process. You know, this is a ridiculous statement, but I’ll make it: how about a Pitney Bowes machine? Does anybody have any idea how expensive a Pitney Bowes machine is? I mean, the thing was ridiculous. You have to rent the machine to send out your mailers. And so, we built it from the ground up. I had an operational person working with me internally, and then we had some external vendors for phones and tech and things like that and thought we could scale ourselves. And to make a long story short, we got up and running. And here’s the thing I would tell people that I learned from Goldman Sachs: try to perform with best practices, whether you’re a large company or a small company. If you’re consistent in your culture of shooting for best practices, people will start thinking in a best practice sort of a way and then good things start happening.
Terrance O’Malley 6:17
So was there a particular event in 1996 or 95 that led you to say, “I want to start my own firm?”
Anthony Scaramucci 6:26
Yes. I went to go see a gentleman by the name of Mario Gabelli. Does that name sound familiar to you? At Gabelli and company. Mario is probably eighty now – this is 24 years ago. And so I went to go meet with him in his office and Rye. And he said, “Well, what the hell are you doing at Goldman Sachs?” I said, “What do you mean I got a great job here at Goldman Sachs.” He said, “Well, let me tell you what’s going to happen, Scaramucci. You’re going to blink. You’re going to blink. And in a blink of the eye, you’ll be 50 and Goldman Sachs is going to blow you out of there.” And I said, “So why would they do that?” “Because you’re an old timer for Goldman Sachs. And they like rotating into younger people, which they have to pay less money to. And you’ll be making a lot of money and they’ll figure out a way to scrape you like a barnacle off the bottom of a boat.” I said, “Okay, so what do you recommend I do? He said, “Well, what you should do is go start your own business. If you start your own business, when you’re 50, believe it or not, you’re going to feel pretty young, and you’re going to want to continue working. There’s going to be no big poohbah that’s going to fire you.” So that was a seminal moment for me.
I always tell Mario that was a big epiphany for me. I went home and said to myself, “Okay, I think he’s right.” Even if I were to have made partner Goldman, of course, I wasn’t partner material, and frankly, would have never made partner there because I don’t have the personality that would have fit Goldman. But even if I was the chances are you get blown out of there quite early in your career, Terrance. And so even the best performing partners, they don’t typically make it. Lloyd Blankfein made it past 50, Gary Cohen did. But typically, most guys don’t. And so I said, “You know what, I’m going to take his advice. I’m going to get up the gumption and the courage to start my own business.”
And so I think I met with him in February of 1996. I made the decision Memorial Day of 1996 to leave as I was preparing myself to do so. And Goldman’s fiscal year was December 1, they’ve now moved it to the calendar year after they went public. Remember, it was a private partnership at that time. So Goldman’s fiscal year was November 30, period ending November 30. And so I left on that day, started my business on December 1, 1996. Scared out of my mind, I might point out too. Scared out of my mind.
Terrance O’Malley 8:43
So there’s a couple iterations. You sold the business at one point, and then you started SkyBridge in 2005. What was the impetus behind starting SkyBridge?
Anthony Scaramucci 8:54
Well, I had sold Oscar Capital Management to Neuberger Berman. Neuberger was a great place to work. I sold it. It was a lot of fun there. They then got bought by Lehman Brothers. Lehman Brothers was a little bit different of a place. Well managed. I was surprised that they went bankrupt, frankly, in 2008. Frankly, in hindsight, they probably, you know, they were in the same boat as everybody else. They probably shouldn’t have gone bankrupt. That was somewhat arbitrary. If they were saving the others, they might as well have saved Lehman as well.
But there we were at Lehman, and I was like, “Okay, back to the bureaucracy.” And I had already tasted entrepreneurship. So I went to Dick Fuld, who I still to this day have a great relationship with. It was 15 years ago. And I said, “Dick, I want to leave and start my own company. I had my own company. I have this idea I’m going to call SkyBridge Capital. I’d like to get some help from you.” And he said, no problem. He wrote me a $10 million dollar check from the balance sheet of Lehman Brothers. And so I went out and raised money from a group of investors that I was close to. I left all the legacy assets at Lehman and Neuberger, but I raised new money and raised a $330 million fund, which we closed in October of 2005. We started deploying capital, January 1, 2006. It was great.
We were going well, until the global financial crisis. 2008 obviously, was a very, very difficult year. And it wasn’t clear to me if we were going to survive it frankly. My joke was, we were saying things like, low bridge capital, blown up bridge capital. I mean, we didn’t know what was gonna happen. And then I came up with the idea of purchasing Citibank’s alternative investment management fund. They were in distress themselves, they were shedding non-core assets. I met with a gentleman by the name of Ray Nolte. He was a terrific guy, still my partner to this day. He was running that fund and he was running the alternative investment management group at Citi. Citi needed to sell that. I put in a bid to buy it. And I think there were qualities to our bid that Citibank liked. One of which was because I was on the customer side as an FA, I had a really good understanding of how to deal with high net worth individuals. And so Citi was like, okay, our Citibank customers will be in a safe pair of hands, and there’ll be a continuous relationship here. And that’s been the case. You know, Ray has been my partner since that acquisition 10 years ago. And there’s another colleague of ours by the name of Troy Gayeski. And by the way, the good news for SkyBridge, talking about this being an operational podcast, they brought a ton of operational people over to the firm which are still with us to this day.
Terrance O’Malley 11:40
As you’ve managed to keep the core team together, what do you attribute that to?
Anthony Scaramucci 11:49
Well, number one, you gotta have a good aggressive pay scale. You have to run a successful enough business, that people feel that they’re getting well paid and they can build a career inside that business as opposed to it just being a job, and it becoming transactional for people. So you got to make money to be able to pay people money. I think that we’ve been successful with that. Number two, you know, we talked about culture. While again, actions always speak louder than words. Everybody has the same flowery language in their corporate handbooks, but how do you actually transact and interact with your people.
And so three things that were important to me, which have been true since I left Goldman in 1996. Number one, if you work at a firm that I’m running, you get fed. Like I’m Italian. So you’re gonna have a free meal. I’ve served more meals than McDonald’s, I think, frankly, in the last 24 years. Because my attitude is, I remember when Goldman cut back on lunches to save a little bit of money and I said, “This is ridiculous. Why are they doing so stupid?” So that was number one. Number two, I pay 100% of everybody’s health care expenses. I figure that we have to be smart enough and profitable enough where people that are working at SkyBridge, we pay them their health care expense. And I’ll tell you what, last 10 years, people that came over from Citibank, they immediately got a pay increase because they didn’t have that payroll deduction anymore. And the third thing I’ve done for people is whatever the maximum allowable by law in terms of the 401k match, I have tried to do for people. And those are sort of the actionable things in terms of fringe benefits. And then the last thing I would say, is we really try to watch our language at SkyBridge. Not the cursing. I could care less about that. But people work with me. They never work for me. And SkyBridge is a collaboration and it’s our firm. It’s not me, me, me, my my my firm. Which is probably why I got fired from the White House so quickly, because that was a one man show with one spotlight and no co-stars. I’ve always tried to run my organizations as a full-blown collaboration.
Terrance O’Malley 13:54
How do you instill in people the sense that some things they can do on their own, but there’s a point where you think you should be brought into the loop?
Anthony Scaramucci 14:03
So it’s interesting because I’m a very big believer in delegation. I’m a very big believer in empowerment and creating autonomy for people. But I’m also a very big believer in how can I say this, accountability. Let’s say we’re working together. You’re working with me, you’re responsible for certain stuff, say responsible for the SALT conference. “Okay, Terrance, here’s our budget. Here’s what I think we can do. Try to go out and get sponsors. Set up the site. Let’s get going.” And then it’s yours. And then you have to make the decision if you are going to do whatever it is that you’re going to do, and then you’ll report back to me. Now, the good news is, if you’re failing at it, I’m a great guy to have around because the fact that you’re trying, I’m totally cool with the failure. I have no problem that. I’m an entrepreneur, so we’re going to go bounce off the walls here and there. Inactivity or no action, no proactivity, I’m probably going to be super sore at that. I would expect more from the people that I’m giving that much autonomy to. But the flip side is if mistakes are being made or something’s being mishandled, but they’re being done with good intention, I think that’s been the hallmark of our success. Where I’m all about that, all about the try, if you will.
The last thing, and this is probably from my grandparents who used to use the expression often that the fish stinks from the head down, so I have no personal trading account. I have never done a personal trade in the 15 years of SkyBridge. My money is in the fund. If the SEC comes in, which they do from time to time – because we’re a registered investment advisor and they audit us – I have no personal trading account. Go look at my family, no personal trading accounts. Everything’s in the fund. I have some legacy trusts from Neuberger Berman that are actually managed by a friend of mine that still works at Neuberger Berman. And that’s completely walled off for me, I don’t even know what’s in it, don’t even care to look at it. And so the reason for that is I never want to be accused of anything. I’ve been on Wall Street 32 years. My [SEC Form] ADV part one and part two are pristine. My licenses, which are held by our broker-dealer subsidiary, are pristine. I’ve never had any violations. Thank god, knock on wood.
And I tell people that it’s compliance first, performance and customer relations second. But the number one thing for us is compliance centrism because you don’t want to ruin the reputation of the firm or yourself personally. And so, I have been told over the years by my colleagues, that they love that compliance centric attitude because it takes pressure off of them. They’re not in an environment where somebody is trying to tell them to cut corners or they’re in an environment where they have to push the envelope and create personal anxiety for themselves. If anything, I tell people “Don’t even go near the line. We should be smart enough to make enough money for our clients and ourselves, doing things right up the middle with a lot of pristine ways.” And thank God for that. Because when I stupidly went into politics, my adversaries in the political world were coming at me hard. You know, they have these opposition research teams that dig into your life and they try to find your weaknesses and some things you may have done in your past that are regrettable. And they figured, “Okay, this guy probably has an insider trading thing somewhere” or they’ve got something they could find me. But they could, because I set it up foundationally in a way, where there was nothing for them to find. I think that was frustrating for them, but great for me, and a cautionary tale for people. Do the right thing. You’ll live longer, you’ll sleep better, and your clients down deep, they can feel it from you. They know that you’re trying to do the right thing for them.
Terrance O’Malley 18:00
So you set the tone at the top. How do you think about hiring people? Are there certain qualities that you look for? Certain character traits?
Anthony Scaramucci 18:09
Well, I mean, yeah. I mean that you can’t teach hunger. You know that. I know that. You can teach that X factor of somebody that wants to make it come hell or high water, that tenacity, that persistence. I’m hiring certainly for competency. I’m not necessarily hiring for experience as much as I’m hiring for trainable attitude. And so if somebody’s super arrogant, probably not going to hire them. They probably think they know more than they actually do. But somebody that’s got a great attitude, that wants to be trained or is open-minded, even if they don’t have a super amount of experience. That’s a good hire for us. You know, I’m a farm-system approach sort of a person rather than a free-agent sort of approach person. I would rather hire people, have them work in our system, have them be trained at SkyBridge, have them grow up at SkyBridge. Because I just think that there’s way more activity, way more production from those people. Sort of people that are day-trading their careers, they got a lot of jobs on their resumes. And that resume comes to me through the rotisserie of resumes, I’m probably less interested in that person.
Terrance O’Malley 19:21
So you’ve been doing this for a while. You’ve seen a lot of firms come and go. You’re a fund to funds manager. Do you have advice for other funds as to how they can be successful? I know you don’t want to – every situation is different – you don’t want to sort of say you’ve got the only way to do it. But are there certain themes, traits that you’ve seen that have been successful?
Anthony Scaramucci 19:40
I mean, the number one thing – this is remarkable to say this, but I think you can appreciate this given your life experience – but the number one thing is just hanging in there. You know, like as an example, Lee Cooperman, my old boss at Goldman, had a great cliché. He would say, “You’ve got to be smart enough to buy the stocks, but you got to be just dumb enough to hold the god damn stocks after you bought them.” I mean, don’t let yourself get spooked out of things that have good fundamentals. If anything, you know, the apple court will get disrupted. Amazon as an example has dropped 50% six times since it went public. And so if you got juked out of it, due to your fear and you were off in terms of the fundamentals or the direction of the company, you missed arguably one of the greatest stock market runs in our history. So the point being is that you have to be disciplined. I think that’s core to success.
And so I’ve had a couple of knockout experiences. You know, I was almost knocked out at Oscar in 1998 during the Long Term Capital Management crisis. Survived that. Almost got knocked out again in 2000 during the tech bubble explosion. Survived that. And then I started SkyBridge. We almost got knocked out in the 2008 crisis. Survive that. We got obliterated in the March 2020 COVID-19 crisis you know. And of course, because I’m a high-profile person, they write about me. You know, Ray Dalio at Bridgewater had as equally a bad month. The joke was, well, we lost five SkyBridges at Bridgewater, but they didn’t write about us. They wrote about you. Okay, big deal. My point being is that you got to be able to take the heat, and then you got to be able to at bottoms, you got to be able to hang in there. I think that is a number one thing, not to lose your sense of humor, not to lose your long-term perspective.
I’ll use a metaphor on you that I tell people. I can tell right away when someone is a gun waiver. What’s a gun waiver? A gun waiver – we’re at the shootout at the OK Corral, person gets nervous, they can’t hit the target. The gun starts moving. I’m not a gun waiver. You know, we’re having a bad time. No problem. I’m a safe pair of hands. Give me the ball. Let me see if we can put the ball in the hoop. Let’s see if we can reverse this and start to get on offense again. I’m not a guy that likes to go on defense, even when we’re having shitty performance. I’m ready to play on offense. I’m ready to be accountable for our performance and convince people to stay the course. And so I think that that’s elemental to long term success in our business because I don’t know any money managers that haven’t gotten hit. Buffett 50% losses three years since he started Berkshire Hathaway. Dan Loeb went down 50% in 2008. David Tepper at Appaloosa went down 50% in 2008. You’re going to get hit in this business. But how you get up and how you respond to the hit, how you grow and adapt yourself from the hit is all it matters.
Terrance O’Malley 22:41
You may have answered this just now. But a lot of success sometimes can be being at the right place at the right time. How can you increase your odds to be in the right place at the right time?
Anthony Scaramucci 22:53
Well, you know, that’s a really good question. I mean, because I don’t know the answer to that, per se. I don’t want to give you something cliché, like you make your own luck and all that sort of stuff. I want to tell you that you have to be forward in your thinking, meaning, if someone comes to you with a really good idea, you don’t want to be the naysayer to that idea. As an example, we were at the bottom of the market March of 2009, Dow at 6500, S&P at 666. Think of where they are today eleven years later. But there we were in 2009. Things look bleak. Las Vegas, every conference had cancelled. Any large bank that had an affiliation with a conference was told by President Obama, now’s not the time to go to Las Vegas or be a fat cat. So they all summarily canceled because they had lots of TARP money. They didn’t want to be affronting to the government. Totally understandable. I’m not picking on anybody. I’m just making this observation.
So that hobbled middle class jobs in Las Vegas. Remember, you know, the optics of going to Vegas are one thing, but you do have porters and maids and waiters and waitresses and bellhops that make up a large portion of the middle-income community in Las Vegas. And they need these conferences. So, one of my colleagues came to me and said we should start a conference business. There’s a vacuum in Las Vegas. If I was a naysayer, piss-poor, rainy-day guy, I would have said, “No way. We’re gonna look ridiculous. We’re about to go out of business.” I said, “Yeah, we know it may work out. If it doesn’t work out, it’ll be our farewell party like the orchestra on the Titanic. So let’s go to Las Vegas. Let’s go do this.” And it worked out.
And so when you say you’re in the right place at the right time, sure. But we needed to push ourselves to get to the right place at the right time. And that’s what I would tell your listeners and your viewers. You have to push yourself. You have to push through fear. You have to push through anxiety. You have to believe in yourself. And you have to also push through that notion “Oh my God, I’m gonna embarrass myself if I’m a failure.” So if you’re an entrepreneur in our business, you can’t be self-conscious. I’m not self-conscious, which is why I was able to survive the political neutron bomb that was dropped on me three years ago. Yes, no problem. Get up. Let’s keep moving.
Terrance O’Malley 25:29
So talking about SALT again, when did you realize that that was going to be success or successful as it’s become?
Anthony Scaramucci 25:37
Well, I would say to you, we thought we had something the first day of that conference in May of 2009. I was like, “Okay, whoa, this is gonna be pretty good.” And then we had to make a decision for 2010. Are we going big or not? Well, if you know anything about me, if you tell me are we going big or not? We’re going big. And so I did something that people didn’t expect me to do. I paid President Clinton and I signed him almost a year prior. I got his name up on our website. And then I got very lucky with President Clinton at that time. You may or may not remember this. He flew to North Korea to pick up two women hostages from the Korean government. And this is when Chairman Kim’s father was still alive. And so there’s a picture of President Clinton and Chairman Kim’s father with these dissidents . . .
Terrance O’Malley 26:36
Sure. Lisa Ling’s sister was one of them.
Anthony Scaramucci 26:38
Yes. Okay. So you remember the story. And so that arrival back in the United States was greeted with great fanfare and he was a hot commodity. And so I had already booked him, and now we’re up here. And it worked out very, very well for me, because it gave me a tractor beam for other high-profile people. “Well who’s speaking at your conference?” “President Clinton.” “Okay, great.” Now you got George Bush. Now you have Mitt Romney. Now you have Colin Powell. Now you have David Cameron. Now you have, you know, and it was a self-fulfilling snowball. But again, it was risky. And he was super expensive to purchase his speaking fee at that point in my career.
Terrance O’Malley 27:21
So how important has the SALT Conference been to your brand and to your firm?
Anthony Scaramucci 27:26
Well, up until this year, we had great performance. So I think the performance was allowing us to raise capital. But I think it has opened the eyes of our investment team and our sales force and has opened and expanded our global relationships. We’ve done the conference 10 times in North America. We’ve done it twice in Singapore, once in Tokyo, once in Abu Dhabi. And these events are great networking events and have led to a lot of positive externalities for the firm.
And also, you know, it’s helped my Rolodex, helped my relationship network. I’ll give you an example. I went to see Richard Branson on his Island, Necker Island. Didn’t know him. So he’s a friend of one of my colleagues and my colleague invited me down to meet with him. I said, great. I took my wife down there. We had a great time at his very beautiful private island in the British Virgin Islands. And now I got a relationship with him. “Okay, you want to come to the SALT conference?” I paid his charity a charitable donation, he came to the SALT Conference. We had a great rapport at the SALT Conference.
And now, two years ago, I opened up an opportunity zone real estate fund to take advantage of the tax code. And we just did a deal with Sir Richard and Virgin where we’re building for them – with our joint venture real estate partner – a boutique, Virgin flagged Hotel in the port city of New Orleans right there for access to his cruise ships. Now of course, all that is shut down. The building is still going up, but the cruise ships have been shut down because of COVID. This is going to be a great deal for us long term. And I would have never had that holistic connectivity without the SALT conference. So there’s a lot of positive externalities. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve met a lot of people. And it is Vegas, most of them have been in Las Vegas, so it’s been a lot of fun.
Terrance O’Malley 29:17
Is there a lesson there for people who maybe are not as well-resourced as you are, or have your profile, but can nevertheless learn something from the ability to network and the importance of building up their own set of contacts and their own name recognition in the business?
Anthony Scaramucci 29:33
Yes, of course there is. I mean, the lesson is, if you think, at 26 in my polyester Sy Syms suit, with absolutely no money and a gigantic millstone of student debt on my neck, and I’d already experienced one firing from Goldman Sachs, if you don’t think I was self-conscious. You don’t think I had a hard time networking? Not that I’m a shy person. But just you know, you’re put in situations where you feel very uncomfortable, you’re outside of your comfort zone. If you don’t think that that happened to me, then you would really not understand the full depths of my story. If you see me today at age 56, having built a business, worked in the White House, gotten kicked out of the White House, survived the kick out of the White House, survived three or four investment crises, built a business that’s durable, have my senior management team together for 15 plus years. But if you went back, you would say “Wow, he was a self-conscious kid that grew up in a blue-collar family that had levels of insecurity like everybody else.”
And so my message to people would be, go for it. You know, push through the areas of your life where you feel uncomfortable. And when you’re feeling uncomfortable, that’s probably when you’re living. If you’re pursuing your dream, and I had a dream, I wanted to have my own business. And since it was on Wall Street, Wall Street really is you know, Terrance, is the business of understanding other businesses. So that’s a perfect business for somebody that really loves business. So, I set out to build a Wall Street investment firm for those reasons. And so that’s part of my life and living my reality or my dream. If there were points in time where I was nervous, or felt failure, or self-consciousness, you never feel more alive than in those moments.
And so my message to people is you have to actually go for things. Mel Brooks, I’ve tried to live by this adage from Mel Brooks my entire life. He is a philosopher up there with Confucius and Lao Tzu for me. What is Mel say? “Relax. None of us are getting out of here alive. Relax.” You know, Steve Jobs was probably more eloquent in terms of his Stanford University speech. But his point was, why not take the risk? What is the big deal anyway? You know, I think that’s what we have to do. Erase that self-consciousness. Erase that fear of failure. You know, there are a country club set and cocktail hour set of people that they never want to be embarrassed at that cocktail party. I have no problem with it. No, problem. “Yeah, yeah, I got fired from the White House. Big deal. Yes, I was fired from Goldman Sachs. Yes, I had this setback and that setback. Big deal” But you know, I built a nice business. It’s independent, and like Mario Gabelli said to me, I didn’t get fired at age 50. Because I have my own business.
Terrance O’Malley 32:26
So what do you see yourself doing in the future?
Anthony Scaramucci 32:29
Well, you know, I would like to grow SkyBridge. I mean, we’ve had this big pandemic. We have to dig out of that hole. If you asked me on May 1, I would have said to you, “Wow, we’ve got SkyBridge at peak revenues and it’s doing beautifully and hopefully, you know, we’ll acquire something with this cash flow that we have. We’ll grow the firm even bigger.” We’ve had this setback now as a result of COVID-19. Many people have. I’m not complaining about it or feeling victimized. I’m just saying I’ve got to deal with that new reality. And I’ve got to figure out a way to grow the business back and restore confidence in our performance and our investment management team, which we’re already starting to do. And then after that – if that’s one, two, three, five years – we’ll take a look. We’ll take a look at the world, see what’s going on in the world and figure out what we’re doing.
Terrance O’Malley 33:18
And in the meantime, we can check out the SALT Talks at salt.org/talks.
Anthony Scaramucci 33:24
Yes. SALT Talks.
Terrance O’Malley 33:26
All right. Well Anthony, it’s been great having you today. I really appreciate it. Some terrific insights.
Anthony Scaramucci 33:31
Thank you so much. It’s an honor for me actually. So I appreciate it.