Once upon a time (specifically, eight years ago), Bridgewater Associates was prepared to abandon its enchanted woods and great lawn and cave of contemplation and mystical parking lake (and its fish ladder) in Westport for a new home in Stamford. This campus of the future was euphemistically referred to as a magical forest, but it was to be, in reality, a fairly typical five-story suburban office park with a helipad.
It did not happen, and not because of any prophecy of plague delivered to Ray Dalio by a talking fish-oracle, or the insight, revealed to him in his gilded survival bunker, that he definitely wouldn’t need room for 3,500 people and 3,000 cars in order to lose a shrinking band of preferred clients 20% a year. It happened because of the Boat People, a lot so unPrincipled that we have to imagine their numbers have been ravaged by the coronavirus.
Still, even Dalio would admit that sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, for a magical forest on the Long Island Sound, surrounded by public lands and amenities, would not be nearly so conducive to pandemic planning as the good old place along the Saugatuck.
Ray Dalio’s $138 billion hedge fund has set up tents in the woods across from its Westport, Conn., headquarters so that its traders and other staffers can continue to work from their desks during the coronavirus pandemic… The tents, which can accommodate about 50 of Bridgewater’s roughly 1,500 global staff, were implemented in May when it was determined that the safety protocols required for indoor work were too “stressful,” according to Fortune.
While the setup includes kayaks, it also comes with chirping birds that can disrupt calls and at least one downed tree, according to the report….
Bridgewater intends to keep the woodsy setup through October, or until the weather gets too cold to comfortably work outdoors, [Nir] Bar Dea told Fortune.