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Q&A: Anthony Scaramucci

Founder of SkyBridge Capital, Anthony Scaramucci also hosts SALT, his firm’s powerhouse hedge fund conference

01. What are you reading?

1940 by Susan Dunn, The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin and The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry. I never read one book at a time.

02. Listening to?

I love Billy Joel, and just to date myself a little, Bad Company.

03. Favorite movie?

The Godfather. It explains how life works in the real world.

04. If your house were on fire and you could save only one object, what would it be?

My signed copy of Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy. It’s a first edition.

05. What type of watch do you wear?

Rolex. To quote my Zurich-based partner, it is a proper Swiss watch.

06. Worst habit?

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I am a junk food eater.

07. Favorite city in the U.S.?

Nueva York. It’s my home, it’s in my blood.

08. Internationally?

London. I lived in London, went to the London School of Economics, do a lot of business in London and have a lot of fun in London.

09. Favorite getaway?

The Hawaiian Islands. You’re in the U.S., but you feel like you’re in a foreign tropical paradise.

10. How many days a year are you on the road?

About 120—vacation and business travel.

11. Your uniform?

Client meetings: suit and tie. Internal meetings: cargo shorts, a polo shirt and sneakers.

12. Investment philosophy?

It’s a value-based philosophy grounded in patience and common sense, tempered by living through a lot of investment cycles.

13. Worst investing mistake you’ve made?

Iwas levered long into the Russian ruble crisis in August 1998. As a result, in the last 16 years I have not operated with any leverage.

14. Your management style?

I believe in decentralized management that includes a lot of delegation, empowerment and accountability.

15. Who are your business role models?

Ted Turner, Richard Branson and Howard Schultz—the holy trinity of disruption.

16. Hero?

My grandmother, Maria DeFeo, who had enormous courage to come to the U.S. on her own in 1923. She was a working-class person in the service business, so every person beneath me in the pecking order is my grandmother.

17. What keeps you up at night?

A confluence of under-saving and under-investing by a whole generation.

18. Best advice?

Three words: adapt, enjoy and appreciate. Your life is not going to turn out the way you expect, so you have to adapt. You have to enjoy your life. And you have to appreciate who you are and where you’ve come from.

19. Favorite philanthropy?

Navy SEAL Foundation. These guys make an enormous sacrifice for our country.

20. How would you like to be remembered?

I’ve tried to make a difference in people’s lives that’s positive. I don’t always succeed, but I try.

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