EY agrees to split up. The consulting and auditing giant will divide those practices, an effort to expand the businesses while shielding them from conflict-of-interest allegations. Widely discussed for months, the move must now be ratified by more than 10,000 EY partners worldwide.
FTX takes a stake in the Mooch’s SkyBridge Capital
The crypto winter has wiped out roughly $2 trillion in market value over the past 10 months, but the biggest names in the sector continue to cut deals. The venture arm of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, helmed by the billionaire investor Sam Bankman-Fried, announced today that it’s taken a 30 percent stake in SkyBridge Capital, the hedge-fund firm founded by Anthony Scaramucci, for an undisclosed sum. SkyBridge will use $40 million from the proceeds to buy cryptocurrencies to strengthen its long-term balance sheet.
The deal comes during a rough stretch for SkyBridge, which has seen its crypto investments crash in value, triggering an investor exodus. Meanwhile, FTX has played the white-knight role during the crypto downturn, sweeping in to strategically assist ailing businesses and expand its empire while moving into old-school products like stocks and options.
“We look forward to collaborating closely with SkyBridge on its crypto investment activity and also working alongside them on promising non-crypto-related investments,” Bankman-Fried, who is known as S.B.F., said in a statement.
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The two founders have a few things in common. Bankman-Fried is an outspoken and increasingly influential crypto executive who frequently visits Washington to talk policy. Scaramucci, or “the Mooch,” who founded SkyBridge in 2005, is also known for a week-and-a-half stint as then-president Donald Trump’s communications director in 2017. Scaramucci says he started taking crypto seriously when he heard Treasury officials discuss the potential of blockchain and digital currencies in 2017. He bought the domain SkyBridgeBitcoin.com after the White House fired him.
SkyBridge and FTX’s ties go back to the Bahamas. In April, they put on a conference together in the nomadic S.B.F.’s adopted Caribbean home. The native Californian moved there last year from Hong Kong in search of crypto fortunes and looser rules. Mooch and S.B.F. shared a stage and wore matching outfits. Since 2009, SkyBridge has held a series of conferences called SALT, bringing together asset managers, entrepreneurs and policy types. (SALT New York is scheduled for next week.) FTX now has a multiyear partnership to sponsor those events in North America, Asia and the Middle East, along with the crypto conference. The firms said they would also expand their collaboration on venture and digital asset investing. “Sam is a visionary who has built incredible businesses that are synergistic with the future of SkyBridge,” said Scaramucci.