Trump's new communications director has a long history on Wall Street and a love-hate relationship with the press

Anthony Scaramucci, who has been appointed to head the White House's communications operations, has a long history on Wall Street – and has been a big Trump backer and public advocate.

He previously worked at Goldman Sachs and later founded SkyBridge Capital, a fund of hedge funds firm that caters to America's rich dentists and doctors.

Sean Spicer, the White House's embattled press secretary, announced his resignation on Friday, reportedly after telling President Donald Trump that he strongly disagreed with the selection of Scaramucci.

Scaramucci is a household name on Wall Street, but relatively unknown elsewhere. Here's a primer.

He was hired, fired and then rehired at Goldman Sachs

Reuters/ Lucas Jackson

Scaramucci worked at Goldman Sachs for some time after graduating from Harvard Law School.

He was even fired before being rehired in a sales role, he recounted to reporters several years ago.


He later founded SkyBridge Capital, which invests rich people's money in hedge funds

Thomson Reuters

Scaramucci later ran SkyBridge Capital, a fund of hedge funds firm. It basically invests wealthy people's money into hedge funds, private investment vehicles that make bets on the markets.

Scaramucci had heralded SkyBridge as a way for America's dentists and doctors – who might not have enough money to access hedge funds directly – to put their money with hedge fund titans.

The fund's sales practices drew criticism over the years, and a Main Street mutual fund SkyBridge started also struggled with performance,Reuters reported earlier this year.

Still, the firm grew to billions in assets, much of that from relationships with Wall Street banks which directed their rich clients' money into the fund.


He has a love-hate relationship with the press

Screenshot, CNBC

Scaramucci loves media attention and courts it like a pro (including from Business Insider). Sometimes, it is to promote books, like one he wrote on entrepreneurship called "Hopping over the Rabbit Hole." He also hosts a TV show called Wall Street Week on Fox Business.

But he was also accused of threatening a columnist after he wrote something Scaramucci didn't like. Felix Salmon, a financial columnist, wrote for Reuters about his experience.

Here's Salmon back in 2011:

"I've seen another side to Scaramucci: my post about his wine tasting was followed by a series of irate phone calls and emails from him, not only to me but also to any and every senior Thomson Reuters executive he could think of. It's the steely competitor underneath the glad-handing exterior."

Scaramucci said he tried to get Salmon fired twice, though the two eventually made up.

More recently, he reportedly threatened to sue CNN over a story that it later retracted. When it did, and three staffers were let go, he tweeted ".@CNN did the right thing. Classy move. Apology accepted. Everyone makes mistakes. Moving on."


Scaramucci became the face of the hedge fund industry's biggest Las Vegas confab

Thomson Reuters

Scaramucci also ran SALT, one of the hedge fund industry's flashiest conferences.

Held annually at Las Vegas's ritzy Bellagio, it's a gathering of hedge fund managers, marketers and all sorts of sales people convened to hobnob, listen to hedge fund managers that SkyBridge invests in and party. The Killers even performed one year.


He has been one of Trump's biggest proponents on Wall Street

Pool/Getty Images

Scaramucci has been one of Trump's biggest backers on Wall Street, and is not shy about it. He has touted the president at hedge fund events, on Twitter and on broadcast TV.

The day after Trump was elected in November, he told journalist Michelle Celarier that people need to take Trump at his word in an interview in New York magazine.

"I'm not talking about the rhetorical flourishes or the problems he has had," Scaramucci said in the interview. "He's admitted he said some things he regretted. But if he says he's going to build a wall and make the Mexicans pay for it ... my guess is he's going to build the wall and the Mexicans are going to pay for it. I think that's going to happen."


Scaramucci wanted Trump to kill a law that could hurt his fund business — but it was enacted anyway

Christopher Furlong / Staff / Getty Images

Scaramucci was an outspoken critic of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, which required financial advisers to put their clients' interests ahead of theirs. It's a threat to fund-of-fund businesses because they pay referral fees to financial advisers.

Scaramucci had argued the rule would hurt investors because it would supposedly make it harder for people to get retirement advice; he argued, among other things, that advisers wouldn't be able to afford to service low-balance accounts.

The Wall Streeters opposing the rule had a lot at stake, particularly Scaramucci's SkyBridge and he wanted Trump to repeal it. The rule recently went into effect anyway earlier this year.


Two senators said they would investigate Scaramucci after he met with a sanctioned Russian fund

Thomson Reuters

Two senators earlier this year said that they would push for an investigation into whether Scaramucci violated sanctions with Russia. That's after it came out that Scaramucci talked about potential joint investments with a sanctioned Russian fund, Bloomberg News reported.

As Bloomberg reported in January: Scaramucci's "meeting with Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, a $10 billion state-run investment vehicle, is the first public contact between the incoming administration and Kremlin-backed business."


Scaramucci sold SkyBridge earlier this year to a Chinese company so he could work for Trump, but conflicts in that sale prevented him from taking on a job

Thomson Reuters

Scaramucci sold SkyBridge to a subsidiary of the Chinese conglomerate, HNA Group, which has ties to the country's Communist party. That sale – and the conflicts – initially bungled his chances at a Trump administration job earlier this year, according to the New York Times.

As Business Insider's Linette Lopez has pointed out, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin must approve the HNA sale as part of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US.

Last month, Trump appointed Scaramucci chief strategy officer of the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

See more photos of the new communications director:

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White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci accompanies U.S. President Donald Trump for an event about his proposed U.S. government effort against the street gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, with a gathering of federal, state and local law enforcement officials in Brentwood, New York, U.S. July 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci speaks during an on air interview at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
New White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci takes questions at the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 21, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders greets new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci at the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S. July 21, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
SkyBridge Capital founder Anthony Scaramucci, aide to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, arrives in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. Trump said his administration would produce a full report on hacking within the first 90 days of his presidency and accused 'my political opponents and a failed spy' of making 'phony allegations' against him. Photographer: Albin Lohr-Jones/Pool via Bloomberg
White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci talks to the media outside the White House in Washington, U.S., July 25, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Anthony Scaramucci, SkyBridge Capital Founder and aide to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. World leaders, influential executives, bankers and policy makers attend the 47th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos from Jan. 17 - 20. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital LLC, speaks during the Skybridge Alternatives (SALT) conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. The SALT Conference facilitates balanced discussions and debates on macro-economic trends, geo-political events and alternative investment opportunities for the year ahead. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Anthony Scaramucci, Founder and Managing Partner of SkyBridge Capital, speaks at the Volatility as the New Normal event in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos January 21, 2015. More than 1,500 business leaders and 40 heads of state or government will attend the Jan. 21-24 meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to network and discuss big themes, from the price of oil to the future of the Internet. This year they are meeting in the midst of upheaval, with security forces on heightened alert after attacks in Paris, the European Central Bank considering a radical government bond-buying programme and the safe-haven Swiss franc rocketing. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich (SWITZERLAND - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 14: Anthony Scaramucci attends SkyBridge Capital Holiday Celebration at Hunt & Fish Club on December 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 14: Eric Bolling and Anthony Scaramucci attend SkyBridge Capital Holiday Celebration at Hunt & Fish Club on December 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 27: Deidre Scaramucci and Anthony Scaramucci attend 'Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole' Anthony Scaramucci Book Party on October 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 27: Anthony Scaramucci attends the 'Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole' Anthony Scaramucci Book Party on October 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 27: Susan Scaramucci Mandato and Anthony Scaramucci attend 'Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole' Anthony Scaramucci Book Party on October 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 27: Anthony Scaramucci and Maria Bartiromo host FOX Business Network's 'Wall Street Week' at FOX Studios on April 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
Anthony Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital II LLC, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Scaramucci, economic adviser to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, discussed the accuracy of polls in the U.S. presidential election and Trump's economic policy and support of free trade. Photographer: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Anthony Scaramucci, managing partner of SkyBridge Capital LLC, speaks during a gala event at the Skybridge Alternatives (SALT) Asia conference in Singapore, on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012. SkyBridge Capital LLC, the $6.7 billion fund of hedge funds that organizes the biggest industry event in the U.S., plans to increase investments in Asia as it kicks off its first conference in the region. Photographer: Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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