At the annual gathering of the country’s top money managers, one can expect to see the usual suspects: Point72’s Steve Cohen, Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio, even Paris Hilton will make an appearance.
But this year there will be a notable addition to the pro-business event: Eric Adams, the Democratic nominee for New York City’s mayor.
He’s set to give the opening remarks at the SALT conference on September 13, which this year has decamped from the Bellagio in Las Vegas to the Javits Center in New York City.
The mayoral candidate’s willingness to embrace the financial sector is a sharp contrast to Mayor Bill de Blasio — who was often at odds with the city’s private sector. De Blasio was invited to the event but has yet to RSVP either way, according to people familiar with the matter. The Mayor’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Wall Street insiders see Adams’ attendance as an important sign he wants to build a working relationship with one of the Big Apple’s most important industries, they tell The Post.
“This is a genuine effort to get to know more people in financial services, which is one of the most important sectors of New York’s economy,” Charles Myers of Signum Global Advisors told The Post. “Eric ran as a moderate… it’s a smart strategic move to expand his network.”
Adams – who is heavily favored to win the general election in November – will be speaking in-person later this month at SALT, or the annual gathering of SkyBridge, a fund based in New York. It’s organized each year by SkyBridge founder Anthony Scaramucci, a former press secretary, for a short time, for then-President Donald Trump.
As for Adams, his attendance signals a commitment to New York’s business sector, his spokesman said.
“Eric will welcome business leaders from around the world to New York, and ask them to partner with the city and grow here so that unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers can thrive as the local economy recovers – finding careers in growing sectors, like technology and emerging industries such as life sciences and cyber security,” Evan Theis, a spokesman for Eric Adams told The Post.
The man Adams is likely to replace, De Blasio, hasn’t been seen as a friend of Wall Street — making Adams’ appearance at the conference even more notable.
The current mayor roiled business leaders over the years with comments decrying private property and encouraging the city’s “socialistic impulses.” Last year, more than 170 top business leaders from companies including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley signed a letter calling de Blasio to step up and encourage and take the necessary steps to help the city recover from coronavirus.
Wall Street has been on tenterhooks waiting to see what, if any, changes will be made by the city’s new leadership. Adams has promised to prioritize safety and foster a business-friendly city. And so far, Wall Street leaders seem confident Adams is moving in the right direction, should he be elected. (He faces Republican Curtis Sliwa, although is heavily favored in a city where Democrats are the big majority.)
“The financial industry is the biggest contributor to the New York economy and tax rolls and Wall Street is looking for new leaders to respect that contribution,” Partnership for NYC President Kathryn Wylde told The Post. “Most business leaders want to be in New York but will leave if the political environment remains hostile or the quality of life deteriorates.”
According to data from Partnership for NYC, “the city’s financial services industry is responsible for 35 percent of New York City’s business tax collections.” In 2019, the financial services sector supported 355,000 job and indirectly supported another 815,000 jobs, according to the partnership’s data. During the pandemic, the number of jobs dropped to 329,000.
But as countless wealthy New Yorkers have fled the city for safer and cheaper states like Florida, others are doubling down on the Big Apple.
The conference, which was launched after the financial crisis — and served as an excuse for the masters of the universe to jet to Las Vegas — will be held for the first time ever in New York City this year. Lifelong New Yorker Scaramucci tells The Post he wants to make SALT or SkyBridge Alternatives conference a sort of love letter to New York.
Adams has already embraced the city’s elite — possibly part of his efforts to raise $5 million before the general election. In recent weeks he has attended fundraisers in The Hamptons and even on a yacht and may be looking for more donations from some of the movers and shakers at SALT.
Some of Wall Street’s wealthiest financiers — Steve Cohen, Dan Loeb and Stanley Druckenmiler — have already donated to various super PACs for Adams.
Other notable SALT attendees this year include Governor Jeb Bush, Founder of Bridgewater Associates Ray Dalio, General John Kelly, Chairman and CEO of Avenue Capital Marc Lasry, Third Point CEO Dan Loeb, General H.R. McMaster, Mudrick Capital Management Chief Investment Officer Jason Mudrick, Shark Tank judge Kevin O’Leary, Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz, and ARK Investment Management CEO Cathie Wood.