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任性!世界上最大的对冲基金竟在这里办公

任性!世界上最大的对冲基金竟在这里办公

Jen Wieczner 2020年10月09日
这确实是个奇招。

在桥水公司位于康涅狄格州韦斯特波特总部对面的松树林中,50名员工正在那里办公,帮助管理这家全球最大对冲基金的1,400亿美元资产。图片来源:COURTESY OF BRIDGEWATER ASSOCIATE

初创桥水时,瑞•达利欧的理念便是“彻底透明”。在今年春季,这四个字真的被实现了:四个月以来,桥水一直在户外办公。

桥水公司(Bridgewater Associates)是全球最大的对冲基金。在其位于康涅狄格州韦斯特波特总部对面的松树林中,50名员工正在那里办公,管理着1,400亿美元资产。今年5月,由于新冠疫情持续扩散,传统交易所风险上升,于是他们想出一个奇招:拖着监视器及其他设备,搬到树林里。

面对疫情或者其他灾难,桥水有一套自己的应对计划,包括禁止高管乘坐同架飞机或同辆公交车,限制公司人群聚集。此外,桥水还安排了包括远程网站在内的至少4处应急地点,以便让公司在自然灾害或网络攻击发生后依然顺利运行。

但在疫情期间,这些备用办公室也面临一个问题:它们都在室内。桥水投资部门的联合主管尼尔•巴尔•迪亚说:“于是计划以外的情况来了——我们开始在室外办公。”

因为疫情,桥水在2月底关闭了办公室,只对几位关键员工开放。但几个月后,由于工作团队缺少面对面的沟通,公司打算重启办公室,但人们也意识到,要避免室内工作。

“我当时想,我们得把口罩摘掉。”巴尔•迪亚回忆道。他补充说,琐碎而不可或缺的安全防护(如戴口罩等)带来了不可忽视的压力。而搬到室外工作就可以完全改变这一窘境。

桥水著名的周一晨会参会人员中,有25人聚集在森林里的主帐篷下,Zoom里还有100多人;在照片的右侧,可以注意到创始人瑞•达利欧也加入了森林办公的号召。图片来源:Courtesy of Bridgewater Associate

为了确保安全,园区里的每个员工每周都要进行两次核酸检测。在森林里,大家便无需佩戴口罩——因为森林里的椅子等物件都会按照一定间隔摆放,可以确保社交安全距离。

桥水的团队迅速组装了开放式帐篷,升级了Wi-Fi,还购买了皮艇作为娱乐设施。每周一,在桥水著名的“世界正在发生什么”三小时晨会中,会有25人聚集在主帐篷下,另外还有100多人通过Zoom参会,参会人会显示在帐篷一侧的大屏幕上。帐篷之外,会议的背景是一丛高大的松树,针叶落下,仿佛铺了一层红色的地毯。

这里的风光让人有一种置身于露营地的感觉。桥水的员工们已经学会了如何保护椅子不被落下的树液侵蚀。原先的屏幕和网络摄像头在室外经历几周的风吹雨打后坏掉了,便被替换成了防风雨的版本。

桥水甚至解决了“带羽毛的新邻居们”在视频通话时发出的啁啾声——通过部署噪音消除软件Krisp。当然这个软件也可以帮助那些家里有孩子和宠物的人消除噪声。

“我听到很多鸟叫声,但你什么也听不到。”身穿T恤、光着脚的巴尔•迪亚把脚边的人字拖踢开,对着Zoom解释道。

如图所示,由于鸟叫和其他动物的声音干扰了桥水的视频通话,因此桥水增加了特殊的本地化扬声器,同时还部署了噪音消除软件Krisp。图片来源:Courtesy of Bridgewater Associate

“帐篷办公室”的地点颇为隐蔽,以避免被小径上的徒步旅行者偶然发现。桥水的房地产经理哈德利•哈斯雷格雷夫表示:“外界也会想要了解我们对冲基金在做什么,所以我们也必须考虑安全问题——要知道,在室外工作要比在室内工作麻烦得多。”

对于森林办公,她还有一个重要建议:“无论如何都不要忘了抹防晒霜。”

新英格兰地区的气候变化莫测,在8月的飓风期间,桥水就曾经暂时关闭了室外场地。但他们估计,团队依然计划在那里尽可能长时间地工作,无论穿着防风大衣还是厚帽子,也要坚持下去,一直到10月底。

“舒适感肯定和室内无法相比,但在室外也可以感受到一些积极的东西。”巴尔•迪亚补充道。他们已经定好雪季前搬离森林,把户外办公设备搬进室内——这可能得花掉整个晚上。

在康涅狄格州韦斯特波特的桥水办公室工作的员工已经养成了一种“非正式”的习惯:在室外交谈,在室内完成工作。“树的问题”则成为了新的挑战。图片来源:Courtesy of Bridgewater Associate

自上述举措实施以来,投资部门的生产率指标有所改善。不管疫情是否会持续,该团队都打算明年夏天继续使用这个木质的工作空间。

但他们也不得不忍受偶然出现的干扰:9月初的一天,市场收盘后不久,一棵老橡树从大帐篷的台阶边上倒了下来。“最近我们遇到了很多‘树的问题’。”哈德利•哈斯雷格雷夫补充道。幸运的是,这棵树只撞到了停车场。(财富中文网)

本文另一版本登载于《财富》杂志2020年10月刊,标题为《森林里的对冲基金》。

编译:杨二一

编辑:徐晓彤

初创桥水时,瑞•达利欧的理念便是“彻底透明”。在今年春季,这四个字真的被实现了:四个月以来,桥水一直在户外办公。

桥水公司(Bridgewater Associates)是全球最大的对冲基金。在其位于康涅狄格州韦斯特波特总部对面的松树林中,50名员工正在那里办公,管理着1,400亿美元资产。今年5月,由于新冠疫情持续扩散,传统交易所风险上升,于是他们想出一个奇招:拖着监视器及其他设备,搬到树林里。

面对疫情或者其他灾难,桥水有一套自己的应对计划,包括禁止高管乘坐同架飞机或同辆公交车,限制公司人群聚集。此外,桥水还安排了包括远程网站在内的至少4处应急地点,以便让公司在自然灾害或网络攻击发生后依然顺利运行。

但在疫情期间,这些备用办公室也面临一个问题:它们都在室内。桥水投资部门的联合主管尼尔•巴尔•迪亚说:“于是计划以外的情况来了——我们开始在室外办公。”

因为疫情,桥水在2月底关闭了办公室,只对几位关键员工开放。但几个月后,由于工作团队缺少面对面的沟通,公司打算重启办公室,但人们也意识到,要避免室内工作。

“我当时想,我们得把口罩摘掉。”巴尔•迪亚回忆道。他补充说,琐碎而不可或缺的安全防护(如戴口罩等)带来了不可忽视的压力。而搬到室外工作就可以完全改变这一窘境。

为了确保安全,园区里的每个员工每周都要进行两次核酸检测。在森林里,大家便无需佩戴口罩——因为森林里的椅子等物件都会按照一定间隔摆放,可以确保社交安全距离。

桥水的团队迅速组装了开放式帐篷,升级了Wi-Fi,还购买了皮艇作为娱乐设施。每周一,在桥水著名的“世界正在发生什么”三小时晨会中,会有25人聚集在主帐篷下,另外还有100多人通过Zoom参会,参会人会显示在帐篷一侧的大屏幕上。帐篷之外,会议的背景是一丛高大的松树,针叶落下,仿佛铺了一层红色的地毯。

这里的风光让人有一种置身于露营地的感觉。桥水的员工们已经学会了如何保护椅子不被落下的树液侵蚀。原先的屏幕和网络摄像头在室外经历几周的风吹雨打后坏掉了,便被替换成了防风雨的版本。

桥水甚至解决了“带羽毛的新邻居们”在视频通话时发出的啁啾声——通过部署噪音消除软件Krisp。当然这个软件也可以帮助那些家里有孩子和宠物的人消除噪声。

“我听到很多鸟叫声,但你什么也听不到。”身穿T恤、光着脚的巴尔•迪亚把脚边的人字拖踢开,对着Zoom解释道。

“帐篷办公室”的地点颇为隐蔽,以避免被小径上的徒步旅行者偶然发现。桥水的房地产经理哈德利•哈斯雷格雷夫表示:“外界也会想要了解我们对冲基金在做什么,所以我们也必须考虑安全问题——要知道,在室外工作要比在室内工作麻烦得多。”

对于森林办公,她还有一个重要建议:“无论如何都不要忘了抹防晒霜。”

新英格兰地区的气候变化莫测,在8月的飓风期间,桥水就曾经暂时关闭了室外场地。但他们估计,团队依然计划在那里尽可能长时间地工作,无论穿着防风大衣还是厚帽子,也要坚持下去,一直到10月底。

“舒适感肯定和室内无法相比,但在室外也可以感受到一些积极的东西。”巴尔•迪亚补充道。他们已经定好雪季前搬离森林,把户外办公设备搬进室内——这可能得花掉整个晚上。

自上述举措实施以来,投资部门的生产率指标有所改善。不管疫情是否会持续,该团队都打算明年夏天继续使用这个木质的工作空间。

但他们也不得不忍受偶然出现的干扰:9月初的一天,市场收盘后不久,一棵老橡树从大帐篷的台阶边上倒了下来。“最近我们遇到了很多‘树的问题’。”哈德利•哈斯雷格雷夫补充道。幸运的是,这棵树只撞到了停车场。(财富中文网)

本文另一版本登载于《财富》杂志2020年10月刊,标题为《森林里的对冲基金》。

编译:杨二一

编辑:徐晓彤

Ray Dalio founded his hedge fund Bridgewater Associates upon the principle he calls “radical transparency.” Yet the firm had perhaps never practiced the concept quite so literally until this spring, when they applied it to their very own walls: Indeed, for more than four months, Bridgewater has operated an office outdoors.

Out among the pine trees across from Bridgewater Associates’ headquarters in Westport, Conn., sit as many as 50 employees who help manage the $140 billion in assets of the world’s largest hedge fund. They moved out there in May, lugging monitors and other equipment into the woods as the coronavirus made traditional trading floors hazardous.

Bridgewater has plans for catastrophes—it prohibits its senior executives from taking the same plane or bus and even from mingling all together during bad flu seasons—and readies at least four locations, including a remote emergency site, so that it could still execute trades in the event of a natural disaster or cyberattack. But those backup offices had their own problem during the pandemic: They were all indoors. “We're sitting outside—that's never been a part of our plans,” says Nir Bar Dea, cohead of Bridgewater’s investment engine.

Tracking the coronavirus, Bridgewater had shut its offices to all but essential staff at the end of February. But a couple of months later, missing in-person teamwork, it sought to reopen them. Staffers immediately realized they could not collaborate inside. “I was like, we got to take the masks off,” recalls Bar Dea. The multitude of requisite safety protocols were “more stressful than calming,” he adds. “The move outside just flipped that completely.”

While everyone on campus takes COVID-19 tests twice a week, masks are not required out in the woods, where furniture is spaced well apart and a safe distance can be maintained. The firm’s team quickly assembled open-sided tents as shelter from the elements, upgraded the Wi-Fi, and procured additional kayaks for socially-distanced recreation. Bridgewater’s famous three-hour Monday morning “What's Going On In the World” meeting now includes 25 people congregated under the main meeting tent, plus more than 100 others Zooming in on the large screen mounted to its side. In the background is a thicket of tall pines, their needles forming a reddish carpet beneath.

If the bucolic scene has some of the look of a campground, it also has much of the feel. Bridgewater staff have learned to protect their chairs from falling tree sap, and replaced their screens and webcams with weather-resistant versions after the original ones failed within a couple of weeks of outdoor exposure. The firm even solved for its new feathered neighbors' chirping on video calls, deploying noise-canceling software Krisp—which also helps those with kids and barking dogs at home. (“I hear a lot of birds; you don't hear any of them,” Bar Dea explains via Zoom, in a t-shirt and bare feet, having kicked off his flip flops.)

And Bridgewater strategically located its tented workstations to avoid hikers on nearby trails accidentally stumbling upon them. “We’re also a hedge fund where people are trying to find out what we're doing," says Hadley Haslegrave, Bridgewater’s real estate manager. "You have to think about security too, which is much easier when you're in a building than when you're outside of the building."

Another pro tip for woodland working she recommends: "Wear sunscreen every day, no matter what."

New England climes are fickle—Bridgewater temporarily closed the site during an August hurricane—but the team plan to work out there as long as they can, whether in parkas and hats—until the end of October, they estimate. “Comfort doesn't have to be it feels like indoors; you could have other positive aspects to being outside,” Bar Dea adds. (They draw the line at snow, and are already planning to take the setup inside for the winter—though it may necessitate overnight stretches: “Think the NBA bubble in Disney,” he says.)

After all, productivity metrics for the investment engine have improved since the move al fresco; the group intends to use the woodsy workspace next summer too, regardless of whether COVID still lingers.

They just may have to put up with an occasional interruption: Soon after market close one day in early September, an old oak tree crashed down steps from the big tent. "We've had a lot of tree problems lately," adds Haslegrave. Luckily, it only hit the parking lot.

A version of this article appears in the October 2020 issue of Fortune with the headline “A hedge (fund) in the forest.”

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