A key fundraiser for Barack Obama and a Chinese conglomerate are buying Anthony Scaramucci's investment firm

RON Transatlantic, the investment firm led by George Honig, and HNA Capital, a part of Chinese conglomerate HNA, are taking a majority stake in SkyBridge Capital, the investment firm founded by Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci.

Scaramucci announced earlier Tuesday at the World Economic Forum that he was about to sell the firm, but didn’t name the buyer.

Honig is the former chief operating officer at Credit Suisse Asset Management and PineBridge Investments. He was also a key fundraiser for outgoing US President Barack Obama.

HNA Capital is a part of HNA Group, a Chinese conglomerate with over $90 billion in assets.

SkyBridge is a fund of hedge funds firm, meaning it invests in other hedge funds. It was founded in 2005 by Scaramucci and has about $12 billion in assets under management, catering to rich dentists and doctors who wouldn’t otherwise be able to invest in hedge funds.

SkyBridge is known to have lower investment minimums than direct hedge funds.

The sale comes at a tough time for the fund of hedge funds industry, which has been criticised for fees that are often higher than the costs for direct hedge funds. Aurora Investment Management and Carlyle Group’s DGAM shut down their operations last year.

The first half of 2016 saw the biggest outflows of assets from the fund of hedge funds industry in seven years, according to the InvestHedge Billion Dollar Club. SkyBridge’s assets fell by $1.1 billion over that period, to $11.7 billion, according to the ranking.

President-elect Donald Trump last week named Scaramucci as an assistant to the president. Scaramucci served as an advisor to Trump during his campaign and had said earlier this month that he had received bids for SkyBridge.

Here’s the statement:

New York, NY (January 17, 2017) — SkyBridge Capital (“SkyBridge”), a leading global alternative investment firm, announced today that it has signed a definitive purchase agreement with RON Transatlantic EG (“RON Transatlantic”) and HNA Capital (U.S.) Holding (“HNA Capital U.S.”) for a majority stake in the firm. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

SkyBridge’s investment offerings include commingled funds of hedge funds products, customised separate account portfolios, hedge fund advisory services and a long-only mutual fund. SkyBridge managed or advised approximately $12 billion in assets as of November 30, 2016. SkyBridge has an exceptional retail distribution platform which brings its alternative and other asset management products to the mass affluent investor channel. The firm also hosts the SALT Conference, one of the world’s leading thought leadership and investment forums that convenes global leaders across business, finance and public policy to discuss economic trends, geopolitical events and investment strategies.

SkyBridge will continue to be led by its current senior management team and its full investment team will remain intact. SkyBridge founder, Anthony Scaramucci, will step down from his role as co-managing partner and will no longer be affiliated with SkyBridge or SALT, effective immediately.

The SALT Conference will be spun out as a standalone entity. This year’s SALT Conference, scheduled to be held May 16-19, 2017, in Las Vegas, will continue as planned.

“It has been an honour and privilege to help build SkyBridge and work alongside some of the most talented individuals in the asset management industry who day in and day out demonstrate an unrelenting passion and commitment to helping our clients fulfil their long-term financial goals,” said Anthony Scaramucci. “While I am moving on to a new chapter in my career, I am truly excited about what the future holds for SkyBridge and the opportunities that RON Transatlantic and HNA Capital U.S. will bring to serving the firm’s clients. SkyBridge and SALT are in great hands and will continue to thrive.”

George Hornig, CEO of RON Transatlantic Financial Holdings, and former Chief Operating Officer of Credit Suisse Asset Management and PineBridge Investments, will be joining the board of SkyBridge to work with its senior management on initiatives to grow SkyBridge’s product offerings and distribution platforms. “We are very excited for the opportunity to continue to expand the business that Anthony and his team have created and built,” said Hornig. “Now, together with the world-class resources and networks of HNA and Transatlantic, we feel the “sky” is the limit for how far we can take SkyBridge.”

SkyBridge is a unique and innovative investment platform with a powerful brand that is well positioned to provide retail investors and their financial advisors with one-stop access to sophisticated alternative investment products,” said Guang Yang, CEO of HNA Capital U.S. “Our investment in SkyBridge is an important step in HNA Capital’s strategy to build a global asset management business. We look forward to working with the world-class management team of SkyBridge and our partners at RON Transatlantic to accelerate SkyBridge’s long-term growth and development.”

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017.

About RON Transatlantic

RON Transatlantic is a diversified holding company with interests in the financial services, logistics, energy and brewing/beer sectors.

About HNA Capital U.S.

HNA Capital U.S. is the New York-based subsidiary of HNA Capital, the financial services unit of HNA Group, a Fortune Global 500 company focused on tourism, logistics and financial services. A full service financial solutions provider, HNA Capital includes a diverse set of global businesses in equipment leasing, insurance, investment banking, securities and credit services. HNA Group is a global company with over $90 billion of assets, $30 billion in annual revenues and an international workforce of nearly 200,000 employees, primarily across North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, please visit www.hnagroup.com.

About SkyBridge Capital

SkyBridge Capital is a global alternative investment firm with approximately $12 billion in assets under management or advisement as of November 30, 2016. Addressing every type of market participant, SkyBridge’s investment offerings include commingled funds of hedge funds products, customised separate account portfolios, hedge fund advisory services and a long-only mutual fund. The firm is headquartered in New York and has offices in Palm Beach Gardens, London and Seoul.

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