Bridgewater Associates partners with consulting firm
STAMFORD — Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, has announced a partnership with a professional-services firm to improve key operations and establish a center for that work at the company’s offices in the city’s South End.
The new initiative shows the growing use of outside consultants at southwestern Connecticut’s largest companies. Employees and clients would benefit from a “cohesive suite of services” covering parts of Bridgewater’s HR, recruiting and finance operations, company officials said. At the same time, a number of Bridgewater staff would become employees of the firm, Genpact.
“We are constantly searching for ways to improve our business, as well as improve the experience for our clients and employees," Bridgewater co-CEO Eileen Murray said in a statement. “I am extremely excited about this partnership with Genpact, as I believe it will allow us to harness the latest in process expertise, digital innovation and design thinking to connect our operations and deliver optimal results.”
A “digital hub,” at Bridgeport’s waterfront offices at 2200 Atlantic St., would house employees from both companies working on the new projects. It would eventually serve additional clients.
“From Bridgewater’s point of view, this initiative will provide cost savings,” said John Knopf, an associate professor of finance at the University of Connecticut. “Firms like Genpact are getting much more sophisticated at helping the likes of Bridgewater to streamline their operations and analyze their data.”
Genpact serves clients across the world in industries including financial services, health care, insurance, energy, manufacturing and hospitality.
“The platform we have developed with Bridgewater, using strategic design and advanced digital technologies, we believe over time will become a model for the broader financial services industry,” Tiger Tyagarajan, president and CEO of Genpact, said in a statement.
Bridgewater’s Stamford offices — which opened last year — complement the firm’s Westport headquarters, at 1 Glendinning Place. The company did not disclose how many work in Stamford.
Bridgewater employs more than 1,600 in Connecticut, according to a report last year by the state Department of Economic and Community Development.
Demand for consulting
Officials at Bridgewater — which manages more than $160 billion in assets — touted the new venture as the latest of several partnerships launched in the past few years that draw on third-party expertise.
In 2012, Murray led an overhaul of the firm's middle- and back-office operations, working with Bank of New York Mellon and Northern Trust. The “dual back-up” approach aimed to bolster the security and accuracy of Bridgewater’s asset management.
“It is interesting that even a firm as big and successful as Bridgewater doesn’t have such unlimited resources that they would take in-house — and pay for — all the non-core functions,” Bruce McGuire, president of the Connecticut Hedge Fund Association, wrote in an email. “If you don't think they watch and manage every penny, you are wrong.”
The Bridgewater-Genpact alliance launches during a period of major growth for professional-services firms in Stamford.
KPMG plans to move later this year its local offices from 3001 Summer St., to 677 Washington Blvd. Related to the relocation, the company plans to add more than 100 jobs during the next five years.
A $3 million state grant is supporting the project.
Last May, PricewaterhouseCoopers announced it would add up to 400 jobs in the state during the next five years and create a divisional headquarters in the city.
More than 500 employees are now based in the downtown office tower at 300 Atlantic St., which has served as PwC’s local center since 2000.
Up to $9 million in state grants are financing the PwC expansion.
Deloitte and EY — the other two members of the “Big Four” of professional-services firms — also have Stamford offices.
More than 1,000 work in Deloitte’s offices in the downtown clock-tower building at 695 E. Main St., where it has operated since late 2014. Deloitte’s own job deal with the state allotted up to $14.5 million in grants.
In July 2017, another major professional-services company, RSM, moved to offices next door to Deloitte, at 200 Elm St., after 15 years in the city’s South End. In the decade before the move, its local contingent had grown from approximately 150 to about 200.
Nearly 223,000 were working in professional and business services in Connecticut last November, up about 3 percent year-over-year, according to state Department of Labor data.
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