January 24, 2018 / 8:12 PM / a year ago

Scaramucci hits pause button on Las Vegas hedge fund party

Anthony Scaramucci, co-managing partner and founder of Skybridge Capital speaks at the opening of the annual Skybridge Alternatives Conference (SALT) in Las Vegas May 6, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Anthony Scaramucci’s annual schmooze fest for Wall Street on the Las Vegas strip is on hold.

“Temporary pause,” Scaramucci told Reuters in an email on Wednesday about his SkyBridge Alternatives Conference, a swaggering financial industry event known as SALT that has taken place every year since 2009. But he added that it “will be back.”

A question mark has hung over the conference’s future since Scaramucci’s brief stint as U.S. President Donald Trump’s communications director last year and his efforts to sell his investment business, which specializes in bringing a taste of hedge funds to less affluent investors.

The news was first reported by Bloomberg, which interviewed Scaramucci at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He told Bloomberg that there would be no Las Vegas conference this year and that he was instead organizing a trip to China for certain partners.

The reason for the pause in Vegas is related to the “logistics” of a pending deal to sell SkyBridge Capital to Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, Scaramucci told Bloomberg. The U.S. government has been reviewing the proposed sale for a year.

SALT has been one of the $3 trillion hedge fund industry’s glitziest conferences. The event is popular with investors, managers and marketers who have flocked to the city to soak up sun and wine after listening to top investors present their ideas and debate markets.

Scaramucci packed the Bellagio hotel’s ballrooms each year by giving some 1,800 attendees access to former U.S. Presidents including Bill Clinton and George Bush, central bankers such as Ben Bernanke and hedge fund superstars Daniel Loeb, Ken Griffin and David Tepper. At night there were pool parties and private concerts.

Scaramucci has often said SALT saved his ailing hedge fund investment management business when he launched it with SkyBridge head of business development Victor Oviedo.

With a knack for showmanship the 54-year-old former Goldman Sachs banker created the get-together during the financial crisis when big banks were cancelling their outings but people still longed to get away to mingle and do a little gambling.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Lawrence Delevingne; Editing by Susan Thomas

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