November 15, 2022

IT’S NOT A CULT: The Curious Case of FTX’s ‘Company Therapist.’ FTX’s “company therapist” said he was actually an in-house coach who occasionally tried to find “dating options” for employees while serving as a psychiatrist to some on the side.

At times, though, [Psychiatrist George Lerner’s] job at FTX went beyond the duties of a traditional career coach. The company was based in the Bahamas, and though the country had a tropical climate and “amazing people,” according to Lerner, the 20-something FTX employees struggled with permanent island life and pined for a return to a major city. “THE biggest career discussion issue was not being in a big city,” he told Motherboard.

“When you’re in a big city, you know that there are options, even if you don’t seek them out,” Lerner told Motherboard. “The island has limited entertainment and social choices compared to Miami, NY, or SF.”

“A lot of people left relationships back home to move to the Bahamas,” he continued. “I knew a time would come when they would want to find someone to start dating. Also note that it’s not about sex. People can visit big cities and get that. It’s not what they were looking for. It’s about relationships.”

He became “very concerned that either they would leave the company due to lack of romantic relationships available (and some had) or would date within the company (not a great idea).” As the crypto news site CoinDesk reported last week, top FTX employees in fact had the sort of baroque interpersonal relationships that would be discouraged if not forbidden at most companies: In the Bahamas, Bankman-Fried lived for a time in a “luxury penthouse” with nine other members of his “inner circle,” all of whom had at one point “paired up in romantic relationships with each other” according to CoinDesk.

To make life in the Bahamas appealing without office entanglements, Lerner was “always looking for dating options for FTX people,” he told crypto-focused comedian and entrepreneur Margaux Avedisian in a message reviewed by Motherboard. Avedisian said she had met Lerner at a party at the home of FTX chief operating officer Constance Wang in April during the Crypto Bahamas conference put on by FTX and SALT, Anthony Scaramucci’s “global thought leadership” group. Avedisian was there to serve as master of ceremonies at an event put on by Deltec Bank, another Bahamas-based financial firm.

Anthony Scaramucci, eh? FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried — once dubbed ‘the next Warren Buffet’ before his downfall — rubbed shoulders with Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, Orlando Bloom and Katy Perry at $3,000-a-head Bahamas crypto festival (but now his famous friends have gone dark). “Crypto Bahamas opened at midday on Tuesday, April 26 at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, a luxury hotel on the island. The event was a partnership between FTX and SALT, a leadership and networking forum chaired by Anthony Scaramucci, who briefly served as White House Communications Director under Donald Trump.”

Something tells me next year’s show will have a different guest speaker:

 

 

 

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