The hedge fund manages $130 billion in assets, has 1,225 employees, and will be receiving a $25 million forgivable loan and up to $80 million in urban renewal credits from the state for building a new corporate headquarters and creating 1,000 jobs within 10 years.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy made the announcement Wednesday that Bridgewater Associates will build a state-of-the-art headquarters at Harbor Point in Stamford. Bridgewater Associates is expected to invest $750 million in the project.
“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,” Malloy said.
Bridgewater Associates moved its headquarters from New York City to Westport in 1981.
Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff called the news “bittersweet.”
“My understanding is that this is a long-range plan with construction not expected to be completed for at least five years,“ Joseloff said in a statement posted on WestportNow.com. “Mr. 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.”
The decision to offer tax incentives to a company already in the state to relocate to another municipality in the state is just one of the criticism Malloy’s “Next Five” program faces every time an announcement like this is made.
In June, when Alexion took advantage of the state’s tax credit program and decided to move from Cheshire to New Haven, Republican Sen. Len Suzio criticized the program because in his view it created “winners and losers.”
In this scenario Westport is the loser and Stamford, where Malloy was mayor for 14 years, is the winner.
But Joseloff took a more holistic view of the situation.
“Any time we see a corporate move away from Westport, it is disappointing,” Joseloff said. “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.”
He said the news is good news for southwest Connecticut.