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Anthony Scaramucci is hired for a top job in Trump’s White House

SkyBridge Capital founder Anthony Scaramucci. (Justin Lane/Pool via Bloomberg News)

Anthony Scaramucci, a prominent New York financier and confidant to President-elect Donald Trump, has accepted a top position on the incoming White House staff, where he will coordinate the administration’s engagement with the U.S. business and political community, according to two transition officials familiar with the decision.

Scaramucci’s position, which is expected to be formally announced this week, is described inside the Trump team as akin to the job held by one of President Obama’s most powerful advisers, Valerie Jarrett, who directs the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, according to the transition officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The officials said Scaramucci will take over Jarrett’s position but that the name of the office could be changed to what it was in the George W. Bush administration, the Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Hedge fund manager rises to prominence as economic adviser to Trump

Scaramucci, who was a top fundraiser for Trump’s campaign, will work to cultivate relationships between the Trump administration and executives in the financial and technology sectors, as well as other influential people in the political and nonprofit realms.

Scaramucci, a frequent commentator on cable television and a dynamic personality in the financial world who is known for hosting high-profile business summits, was seen inside the Trump transition as a natural fit for the job. His investment fund, SkyBridge Capital, holds an annual conference in Las Vegas where industry insiders mix with celebrities and political heavyweights. The 2016 conference included speeches by Kobe Bryant, former House speaker John A. Boehner and Kenneth C. Griffin, founder of Citadel, one of the world’s largest asset managers.

Scaramucci will also advise Trump more broadly, working alongside Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and other top aides, with whom he has bonded during the general election campaign and the transition period. Scaramucci has been a daily presence at the Trump Tower transition offices.

During nearly 30 years on Wall Street, Scaramucci has built a reputation for having a boyish demeanor with a salesman’s personality. He started his career at Goldman Sachs, being hired, fired and rehired in a single year before leaving in 2006. He started his own firm, Skybridge Capital, which invests in hedge funds.

In that secretive world, Scaramucci has stood out for his willingness to be a vocal Wall Street booster. In 2010, during a CNBC town hall, he asked Obama: “When are we going to stop whacking Wall Street like a piñata?”

Scaramucci was not always a supporter of Trump. In 2012, he served on the national finance committee of Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign, and in the 2016 presidential cycle he initially backed Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and then former Florida governor Jeb Bush. But as Trump drew closer to securing the Republican nomination, Scaramucci signed up to help.

Trump often criticized the hedge fund industry, complaining that “the hedge fund guys are paying nothing” in taxes. The Long Island native snapped back. Trump has a “big mouth” and is an “inherited money dude from Queens County,” Scaramucci said during a Fox Business Network appearance in August 2015.

Scaramucci has since become one of Trump’s most colorful and loyal defenders, spinning on his behalf in numerous cable appearances and in interviews with reporters.

Renae Merle in New York contributed to this report.