Meet Sam Trabucco, the Exec Who Oversaw Alameda Research

  • Sam Trabucco was co-CEO of Alameda Research. He left the crypto hedge fund a few months before its collapse.
  • Before he left Alameda, he reportedly went on a $10 million all-cash property buying spree and bought a 52-foot yacht.
  • US prosecutors have not alleged Trabucco with any wrongdoing.

Sam Trabucco stepped down as the co-CEO of trading firm Alameda Research in August, just months before Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire filed for bankruptcy and lost $8 billion of customer money.

Around the time of his departure in late August, he tweeted“But if I’ve learned anything at Alameda, it’s how to make good decisions – and this is the right one for me.”

Whereabouts of Trabucco, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, are unclear. Here’s what we know about one of the top executives at Alameda Research.

Bankman-Fried was the sole CEO of Alameda from its inception until October 2021 when Ellison and Trabucco took over. Trabucco was formally in his role as Alameda’s co-CEO for less than a year, according to a court filing, from October 2021 to August 2022.

Trabucco, 30, hasn’t been publicly accused of any wrongdoing. He stepped down from the company in August, shifting Caroline Ellison into the role of Alameda’s CEO.

Trabucco significantly reduced his role at Alameda in this months leading up to his departure. He couldn’t “personally continue to justify the time investment of being a central part of Alameda,” he tweeted, adding that he would be staying on as an advisor to the company but would not have a “strong day-to-day presence.”

Trabucco wanted to “prioritize other things.”

“What other things? I’m really not sure, exactly. Lately I’ve been really happy, spending a lot of time traveling, visiting friends and family, working on ‘myself’ and whatnot,” he said. “Also I bought a boat, that’s been cool. I needed to relax, and I’m really, really happy.”

Before he left Alameda, it was reported that Trabucco a went on a $10 million all-cash property buying spree, purchasing two luxury apartments in San Francisco, according to Protos. He also bought a 52-foot yacht, which he called “Soak my Deck.” The Financial Times reported that Trabucco even paid a freelancer on Fiverr to design the boat’s logo.

A little over a month after his departure from FTX, Trabucco tweeted: “Why are journalists so excited to make my stepping down about something other than a desire to go fast over the nice water.”

Bankman-Fried and Trabucco have known each other for over a decade. They met at a five-week math camp at Mount Holyoke College in 2010, where Trabucco said Bankman-Fried rarely slept during his stay, Insider reported.

The two later reconnected in college at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Trabucco studied math and computer science. Before joining Alameda as a trader in 2019, he had a stint as a quant trader on Susquehanna’s bond exchange-traded fund desk, according to his LinkedIn.

In a press release announcing Trabucco and Ellison’s move to become co-CEOs, the company said the two will “oversee all operations at Alameda while also collaborating to execute on the strategy the organization” and “focus on managing the trading desk.”

The former exec was an aggressive crypto trader, employing risky bets in Alameda’s business. Trabucco has indicated in a series of public comments that he also employed poker and blackjack strategies in trading, Bloomberg reported.

“Bigger is Bigger (when Betting is Better),” he tweeted in January of 2021, explaining how his gambling experience shaped his trading methods. “Getting it in good is a poker term referring to the idea that, when your odds are best…. you wanna bet more.”

When crypto exchange OKX suspended user withdrawals on its platform in January of 2021, Alameda began buying out positions of investors wanting to reduce exposure.

“Not only are we not sellers, we’re HUGE buyers — even though it’s risky — because, in fact, we can take the risk and this trade is GREAT according to what we know — was crucial, and it’s something we ‘re always aiming to do,’ he tweeted.

As for his involvement in FTX’s downfall, US prosecutors have not said Trabucco was involved in any wrongdoing even as he worked in Alameda’s C-suite with several execs who are now facing a slew of charges.

“[Sam] is not really involved in day-to-day operations in Alameda,” Trabucco told CoinDesk in October of 2021. “Caroline and I have been leading the charge [at Alameda] for quite some time.”

Despite his claims to the news outlet over a year ago,”Bankman-Fried remained the ultimate decision-maker at Alameda, even after Ellison and Trabucco became co-CEOs,” the US Securities and Exchange Commission said in its complaint against the fallen FTX CEO.

The court document reads: “Bankman-Fried directed investment and operational decisions, frequently communicated with Alameda employees, and had full access to Alameda’s records and databases.”

Trabucco did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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