Miami's Hedge Fund Week is a January Coachella for 'Wall Street South' as Ja Rule headlines and Peter Thiel and Jared Kushner hold court

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No 1 successful New York aliases LA orders a Carlyle Fresco.

But that’s what they were mixing nan different nighttime by nan excavation astatine nan famed Fontainebleau Miami Beach – a judge motion nan hedge money group was backmost successful town.

The tequila and grapefruit spritz was named successful grant of nan Carlyle Group Inc., which was 1 of nan sponsors of a convention successful nan hotel.

And, for illustration truthful galore things successful South Florida these days, it smacked of 1 oh-so-sweet ingredient: money.      

At times Miami seemed arsenic if half of American finance had flown successful for what’s prosaically known arsenic Hedge Fund Week, a benignant of Coachella for nan fast-money crowd. The rolling bid of conferences and parties swaggers done this area each January, during nan tallness of nan Florida wintertime season.

“Who’s going to adjacent a woody this week? Make immoderate noise!” nan DJ astatine LIV, nan thumping mega nightclub successful nan Fontainebleau, shouted into nan mic precocious Wednesday night. The suits successful nan crowd went wild.

Now much than ever, nan aged Wall Street of New York is sizing up what Miami promoters breathlessly mention to arsenic Wall Street South. Even skeptics wonderment whether there’s much to this than hype. The pandemic prompted able financiers to flock present for nan debased taxes and bully weather. For now, they’re staying. 

Where money goes, politicians follow. As President Joe Biden and erstwhile President Donald Trump caput toward a apt rematch successful November, money and power are snaking done Miami. Even nan city’s yearly hedge money confab gives disconnected a caller vibe this predetermination season. This is nary longer simply a gathering of money managers. This feels for illustration a gathering of kingmakers.

And this whitethorn not beryllium a one-off: Florida has eclipsed California and Texas arsenic nan nation’s azygous largest root of donations to Republican statesmanlike campaigns, racking up $30 cardinal for GOP candidates successful 2023.

“They’re each going to beryllium down present raising money,” Nitin Motwani, a derivatives trader-turned-condo-developer, said of statesmanlike candidates.

They’re present already.

As Wall Street partied beachside astatine nan Fontainebleau, Biden raised $6.2 cardinal astatine a fundraiser a fewer miles away. Hedge-fund billionaire Henry Laufer, who co-founded nan Medallion Fund astatine Renaissance Technologies pinch Jim Simons, co-chaired nan event. Ninety miles north, successful Jupiter, Florida, a group of lawyers raised different $1 cardinal for nan president, not acold from Trump’s location and backstage club, Mar-a-Lago.

“Miami is nan spot wherever everyone comes out,” said Chris Korge, a salient Democratic fundraiser and attorney.

The money is flowing successful each directions. Some awesome Republican donors who were antecedently resistant to Trump person begun to move toward him. Scott Bessent, erstwhile main finance serviceman astatine Soros Fund Management, initially backed Wall Street’s early pick, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Late past year, Bessent switched to Trump and donated $250,000 to nan erstwhile president’s ace PAC, according to national run filings. 

“Over nan summer, I became convinced that Donald Trump tin win,” Bessent said.

Others are holding retired dream for Nikki Haley since DeSantis dropped retired and backed Trump.

The aforesaid time Biden was heading to Miami, existent property billionaire Barry Sternlicht insisted America needs a 3rd replacement travel November. “We’re group who don’t for illustration nan way that nan state is connected and don’t for illustration our 2 choices astatine nan moment,” he said connected nan sidelines of nan Fontainebleau conference. 

A fewer miles south, Citadel laminitis and Miami transplant Ken Griffin said he’d supported Haley’s run — later disclosing a $5 cardinal gift — but stopped short of saying he would lend much to her long-shot challenge. (Other business figures who’ve supported Haley see Henry Kravis, Stanley Druckenmiller and Kenneth Langone). 

A acquainted statement astatine nan parties and convention sidelines is that financial professionals thin to beryllium “socially wide but fiscally conservative.” Of course, they said nan aforesaid successful 2016, which led to Trump’s presidency and a hard-right displacement successful nan Supreme Court.

A large mobility for nan 2024 election, which some Democrats and Republicans opportunity could find nan early of American democracy, is really nan financial philanthropist people will onslaught that equilibrium now.

No 1 wanted to talk authorities aboard nan SeaFair, a $40 cardinal swanky yacht cruising nan azure waters of Biscayne Bay.  

The occasion: different hedge money cocktail party. This time, nan big was Universa Investments, wherever Nassim Taleb, of “Fooled by Randomness” fame, is an adviser. Universa laminitis Mark Spitznagel moved his patient to Miami from Santa Monica, California, years earlier each nan talk of Wall Street South.  

Sitting adjacent nan unfastened bar, Brandon Yarckin, nan main operating officer, insisted that authorities ne'er figures into Universa’s strategy of trying to profit from out-of-the-blue Black Swan events. “We don’t talk astir politics,” Yarckin said arsenic nan Miami skyline shimmered successful nan distance.

Taleb avoided nan taxable altogether. “No, no, I’m not going to talk astir that,” he concluded. 

One of nan 200-or-so guests, Francesca Federico, co-founder and president of Twelve Points Wealth Management successful Boston, repeated nan socially liberal/fiscally blimpish line. As for who wins successful November, she said: “A enslaved is still going to beryllium a bond, a banal will still beryllium a stock.”

Joining them aboard nan 222-foot SeaFair was Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who’s changeable to nationalist attraction since 2020 by relentlessly trading nan thought that Miami mightiness 1 time rival New York arsenic nan US financial center. 

It landed him a occupation astatine a prestigious rule patient and other lucrative side gigs, he launched a grounded statesmanlike bid and is facing multiple investigations. On Wednesday, nan Florida Democratic Party called on him to resign.

Wall Street South isn’t a dream, Suarez told nan crowd. It’s a reality. 

Motwani, nan developer and different awesome Miami booster, said that to him, Wall Street South is simply a authorities of mind. “We’re moving connected each cylinders,” Motwani said complete nan salsa dun of Buena Vista Social Club.

Back astatine nan Fontainebleau, 1 of nan week’s gatherings, Global Alts 2024, was wrapping wrong nan thronging LIV nightclub.

For 2 days, conference-goers had sat softly arsenic nan likes of Michael Novogratz, Peter Thiel, Jared Kushner and Shaquille O’Neal went connected astir really and wherever to make money. Now, hundreds of them flooded onto nan creation floor.

Quaffing gin and tonics, Johnnie Walker Black Label and mediocre achromatic wine, nan revelers moved to nan hit laid down by nan DJ and nan evening’s headliner, nan early 2000s deed rapper Ja Rule. Later, arsenic Ja Rule (real name: Jeffrey Atkins) lamented his property (he’s closing successful connected 50), he pulled disconnected his T-shirt to uncover a sculpted six pack.

“Let’s perceive it for Global Alts 2024!” he yelled.

Smoke machines pumped. Confetti rained down. Wall Street South danced on.

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