Hedge fund manager Ray Dalio may have to look elsewhere for his new corporate headquarters, now that he’s upset the boat people of Stamford. Ray Dalio’s company Bridgewater Associates has been looking at buying land currently owned by Brewer Yacht Haven in Stamford for its new HQ, with renowned architect James Cutler developing the plans. Cutler liked the location because it had been heavily polluted over the years and would put Bridgewater’s money to good use in addition to ultimately being an attractive spot for the business, CNBC’s John Carney reports.
James Cutler shouted down for explaining Ray Dalio’s plan
The problems started when Cutler went to speak in front of the planning board to explain to people what Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater wanted to do. He expected some opposition, mostly from a group called Save Our Boatyard, but he wasn’t prepared for getting shouted down and ultimately told to leave. The audience wasn’t interested in anything he had to say, but it sounds like Butler largely brought that on himself.
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First, he wasn’t really at the right meeting. The planning board was there to discuss plans for a new boatyard to replace the one that was torn down in 2011 (yes, Save Our Boatyard is fighting to save something that was destroyed two years ago), not to discuss other possible uses for the former site of the Brewer Yacht Haven.
The hedge fund trying to clean up the land
There may have also been a problem in the way that Cutler addressed the crowd. While he was explaining his plans, Cutler told the crowd that the land was incredibly polluted, that “it has been damaged by you,” and that Bridgewater would come in to clean everything up. Telling a group of people who want their old boatyard back that they trashed the place so badly that they needed a hedge fund to come save the day doesn’t seem like a great plan.
In the words of one person at the meeting, “He accused them of murdering the planet.”
It’s no surprise that Ray Dalio is looking at other properties as options, given the nature of his work you’d hardly expect him to put all his eggs in one basket. If he lets Cutler remain his public face in Stamford he may end up having to use one.