The SkyBridge Alternatives Conference – the annual hedge fund blowout better known as SALT, is a month away. And the official agenda for the three-day bacchanal, which sees thousands of hedge fund investors, allocators and hedge fund hangers-on descend on Las Vegas in the second week of May, has been released.
Many regular SALT-goers will tell you, of course, that as the event has grown in popularity its official agenda has become but one part of the conference. A sideshow to goings-on inside the Bellagio are the unofficial meetings going on outside, in the hotel’s poolside cabanas.
But SALT gate-crashers – a growing group of people who don’t pay for tickets to the conference but rock up to the Bellagio to network poolside with SALT’s paying guests – will be disappointed to know that the cabanas are a costly and official part of the event this year. The bungalows were all scooped up by SALT organizers, according two people familiar with the plans, and offered to guests for $20,000 for duration of the conference, as part of a sponsorship package that includes branding and passes to attend the event.
Anthony Scaramucci, who’s fund of hedge fund firm Skybridge puts on the conference, recruits some of the best known names in the $2 trillion hedge fund industry to speak at the event, as well as big-ticket political figures like George W. Bush. This year’s list of international headliners includes former Prime Minister of Greece George Papandreou and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy. There’s also a fireside chat between former Israeli leader Ehud Barak and Leon Panetta, ex-U.S Defense Secretary and ex-Director of the CIA.
And Hollywood is coming to hedge fund land this year. Al Pacino and director Oliver Stone are both speaking. (Scaramucci has a link to both – he is an executive producer on an upcoming Pacino movie, and he consulted on Stone’s sequel to Wall Street, 2010′s Money Never Sleeps).