Nearly 1,200 Bridgewater Associates employees are expected to move from Westport to the South End section of Stamford within the next five years.
The hedge fund manages approximately $120 billion in global investments for a wide array of institutional clients, according to their website.
The deal is a part of the "Next Five" economic aid program, which will give Bridgewater a $25 million construction loan at a rate of one percent for 10 years, funds for job training and alternative energy systems installation, and tax credits. In exchange, the company will be required to create 1,000 new jobs over the next 10 years.
"To have a company of Bridgewater’s stature make the business decision to invest $750 million in our state and significantly increase its workforce is not only an extraordinary economic ‘win,’ but signals to the rest of the world that Connecticut is strengthening its leadership position in the very competitive financial services sector," Gov. Dannel Malloy said during Wednesday's announcement.
“This is bittersweet news for Westport in that we will potentially lose a majority of Bridgewater’s more than 1,200 jobs to Stamford but retain them in the State of Connecticut,” said First Selectman Gordon Joseloff of the independent, employee-run organization.
Joseloff was told in advance by the governor’s office of the announcement and also discussed it Wednesday morning with Bridgewater Associates Co-Chief Executive Officer Dave McCormick, who reached out to Joseloff to provide some details.
“My understanding is that this is a long-range plan with construction not expected to be completed for at least five years,” Joseloff said of the company, which was founded out of a two-bedroom apartment in 1975.
McCormick said it is likely that even after the move that Bridgewater will possibly retain some presence in Westport both at its Glendenning-Ford Road complex and the Nyala Farms office complex, Joseloff said.
“He said that Bridgewater has recently invested heavily in a new trading facility at Nyala, where it employs about 800 people, and this is likely to be part of its future plans,” Joseloff said.
Joseloff hopes that many of employees will remain in Westport. He spoke of the possibility that others may move to Westport be closer to the new Stamford Bridgewater location.
“Any time we see a corporate move away from Westport, it is disappointing. But given the needs of Bridgewater and our inability to provide a consolidated headquarters, it is understandable. Westport looks forward to having Bridgewater retain a corporate presence here for the next few years and, in some form, beyond,” Joseloff said. “This is good economic news for southwest Connecticut and for the entire state and for that, we are thankful.”
Throughout its 37-year history, Bridgewater has been recognized as a top-performing manager and an industry innovator, winning 24 industry awards in the past five years alone, their website states. In both 2010 and 2011, Bridgewater ranked as the largest and best-performing hedge fund manager in the world.