Nearly 1,200 Bridgewater Associates employees are expected to move from Westport to Stamford within the next five years.
“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 that was founded in 1975 in a two-bedroom apartment.
The company will build a $750 million corporate campus on the South End of Stamford. 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.
Gov. Dannel Malloy said that Bridgewater's decision spend the funds to build the new corporate center "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."
Joseloff said the move is a long-range plan and construction is not expected to be completed for at least five years.
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Bridgewater Associates Co-Chief Executive Officer Dave 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.
“(McCormick) 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 and 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.