They’re Number 1

blog - BridgewaterIt’s official:  Bridgewater Associates is the largest hedge fund in the world.

The Westport firm — located in the woods of Glendinning Place, off Weston Road just beyond the Lyons Plains traffic light — has $38 billion assets under management, according to The Hedge Fund BlogMan.  That’s a cool $5 billion more than runner-up JPMorgan Asset Management in New York.

Congratulations, I guess.  I guess too the path to being the biggest hedge fund in the world includes keeping a low, discreet profile.  Bridgewater certainly has not been a noticeable player in town philanthropy.

I recall seeing a few company ads, in programs for plays and the like.  Beyond that, I can’t say what Bridgewater’s contribution to Westport life has been.

Compared to companies like Mitchells, Newman’s Own and Tauck World Discovery — and even now-departed businesses like Marketing Corporation of America — Bridgewater is a fly on the back of an elephant.

An argument could be made that, as a global financial services firm, they don’t owe Westport anything.

A counter-argument is that, no matter who you are or what you do, you owe your home town something.  That’s my view, anyway.

I hope I’m missing something.  Perhaps Bridgewater underwrites major civic programs, or surreptitiously keeps many organizations afloat.

If that’s the case, I take everything back.

And if it’s true, I’m sure that “06880” readers will quickly let me know.

2 responses to “They’re Number 1

  1. I’m guessing that they do support anonymously (because via tax breaks donations are good for the firm’s bottom-line), and while making donations anonymously is considered ‘old school’ there’s something more civic-minded about The Anonymous Donation than it’s alternative, right?

  2. Dick Lowenstein

    “Anonymous Donation” is fine when your talking big bucks. But sometimes it’s a way to hide from small donations. Maybe Bridgewater will be more forthcoming about their local support.