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任性!世界上最大的對沖基金竟在這里辦公

任性!世界上最大的對沖基金竟在這里辦公

Jen Wieczner 2020年10月09日
這確實是個奇招。

在橋水公司位于康涅狄格州韋斯特波特總部對面的松樹林中,50名員工正在那里辦公,幫助管理這家全球最大對沖基金的1,400億美元資產。圖片來源:COURTESY OF BRIDGEWATER ASSOCIATE

初創橋水時,瑞?達利歐的理念便是“徹底透明”。在今年春季,這四個字真的被實現了:四個月以來,橋水一直在戶外辦公。

橋水公司(Bridgewater Associates)是全球最大的對沖基金。在其位于康涅狄格州韋斯特波特總部對面的松樹林中,50名員工正在那里辦公,管理著1,400億美元資產。今年5月,由于新冠疫情持續擴散,傳統交易所風險上升,于是他們想出一個奇招:拖著監視器及其他設備,搬到樹林里。

面對疫情或者其他災難,橋水有一套自己的應對計劃,包括禁止高管乘坐同架飛機或同輛公交車,限制公司人群聚集。此外,橋水還安排了包括遠程網站在內的至少4處應急地點,以便讓公司在自然災害或網絡攻擊發生后依然順利運行。

但在疫情期間,這些備用辦公室也面臨一個問題:它們都在室內。橋水投資部門的聯合主管尼爾?巴爾?迪亞說:“于是計劃以外的情況來了——我們開始在室外辦公?!?/p>

因為疫情,橋水在2月底關閉了辦公室,只對幾位關鍵員工開放。但幾個月后,由于工作團隊缺少面對面的溝通,公司打算重啟辦公室,但人們也意識到,要避免室內工作。

“我當時想,我們得把口罩摘掉?!卑蜖?迪亞回憶道。他補充說,瑣碎而不可或缺的安全防護(如戴口罩等)帶來了不可忽視的壓力。而搬到室外工作就可以完全改變這一窘境。

橋水著名的周一晨會參會人員中,有25人聚集在森林里的主帳篷下,Zoom里還有100多人;在照片的右側,可以注意到創始人瑞?達利歐也加入了森林辦公的號召。圖片來源:Courtesy of Bridgewater Associate

為了確保安全,園區里的每個員工每周都要進行兩次核酸檢測。在森林里,大家便無需佩戴口罩——因為森林里的椅子等物件都會按照一定間隔擺放,可以確保社交安全距離。

橋水的團隊迅速組裝了開放式帳篷,升級了Wi-Fi,還購買了皮艇作為娛樂設施。每周一,在橋水著名的“世界正在發生什么”三小時晨會中,會有25人聚集在主帳篷下,另外還有100多人通過Zoom參會,參會人會顯示在帳篷一側的大屏幕上。帳篷之外,會議的背景是一叢高大的松樹,針葉落下,仿佛鋪了一層紅色的地毯。

這里的風光讓人有一種置身于露營地的感覺。橋水的員工們已經學會了如何保護椅子不被落下的樹液侵蝕。原先的屏幕和網絡攝像頭在室外經歷幾周的風吹雨打后壞掉了,便被替換成了防風雨的版本。

橋水甚至解決了“帶羽毛的新鄰居們”在視頻通話時發出的啁啾聲——通過部署噪音消除軟件Krisp。當然這個軟件也可以幫助那些家里有孩子和寵物的人消除噪聲。

“我聽到很多鳥叫聲,但你什么也聽不到?!鄙泶㏕恤、光著腳的巴爾?迪亞把腳邊的人字拖踢開,對著Zoom解釋道。

如圖所示,由于鳥叫和其他動物的聲音干擾了橋水的視頻通話,因此橋水增加了特殊的本地化揚聲器,同時還部署了噪音消除軟件Krisp。圖片來源:Courtesy of Bridgewater Associate

“帳篷辦公室”的地點頗為隱蔽,以避免被小徑上的徒步旅行者偶然發現。橋水的房地產經理哈德利?哈斯雷格雷夫表示:“外界也會想要了解我們對沖基金在做什么,所以我們也必須考慮安全問題——要知道,在室外工作要比在室內工作麻煩得多?!?/p>

對于森林辦公,她還有一個重要建議:“無論如何都不要忘了抹防曬霜?!?/p>

新英格蘭地區的氣候變化莫測,在8月的颶風期間,橋水就曾經暫時關閉了室外場地。但他們估計,團隊依然計劃在那里盡可能長時間地工作,無論穿著防風大衣還是厚帽子,也要堅持下去,一直到10月底。

“舒適感肯定和室內無法相比,但在室外也可以感受到一些積極的東西?!卑蜖?迪亞補充道。他們已經定好雪季前搬離森林,把戶外辦公設備搬進室內——這可能得花掉整個晚上。

在康涅狄格州韋斯特波特的橋水辦公室工作的員工已經養成了一種“非正式”的習慣:在室外交談,在室內完成工作?!皹涞膯栴}”則成為了新的挑戰。圖片來源:Courtesy of Bridgewater Associate

自上述舉措實施以來,投資部門的生產率指標有所改善。不管疫情是否會持續,該團隊都打算明年夏天繼續使用這個木質的工作空間。

但他們也不得不忍受偶然出現的干擾:9月初的一天,市場收盤后不久,一棵老橡樹從大帳篷的臺階邊上倒了下來?!白罱覀冇龅搅撕芏唷畼涞膯栴}’?!惫吕?哈斯雷格雷夫補充道。幸運的是,這棵樹只撞到了停車場。(財富中文網)

本文另一版本登載于《財富》雜志2020年10月刊,標題為《森林里的對沖基金》。

編譯:楊二一

編輯:徐曉彤

初創橋水時,瑞?達利歐的理念便是“徹底透明”。在今年春季,這四個字真的被實現了:四個月以來,橋水一直在戶外辦公。

橋水公司(Bridgewater Associates)是全球最大的對沖基金。在其位于康涅狄格州韋斯特波特總部對面的松樹林中,50名員工正在那里辦公,管理著1,400億美元資產。今年5月,由于新冠疫情持續擴散,傳統交易所風險上升,于是他們想出一個奇招:拖著監視器及其他設備,搬到樹林里。

面對疫情或者其他災難,橋水有一套自己的應對計劃,包括禁止高管乘坐同架飛機或同輛公交車,限制公司人群聚集。此外,橋水還安排了包括遠程網站在內的至少4處應急地點,以便讓公司在自然災害或網絡攻擊發生后依然順利運行。

但在疫情期間,這些備用辦公室也面臨一個問題:它們都在室內。橋水投資部門的聯合主管尼爾?巴爾?迪亞說:“于是計劃以外的情況來了——我們開始在室外辦公?!?/p>

因為疫情,橋水在2月底關閉了辦公室,只對幾位關鍵員工開放。但幾個月后,由于工作團隊缺少面對面的溝通,公司打算重啟辦公室,但人們也意識到,要避免室內工作。

“我當時想,我們得把口罩摘掉?!卑蜖?迪亞回憶道。他補充說,瑣碎而不可或缺的安全防護(如戴口罩等)帶來了不可忽視的壓力。而搬到室外工作就可以完全改變這一窘境。

為了確保安全,園區里的每個員工每周都要進行兩次核酸檢測。在森林里,大家便無需佩戴口罩——因為森林里的椅子等物件都會按照一定間隔擺放,可以確保社交安全距離。

橋水的團隊迅速組裝了開放式帳篷,升級了Wi-Fi,還購買了皮艇作為娛樂設施。每周一,在橋水著名的“世界正在發生什么”三小時晨會中,會有25人聚集在主帳篷下,另外還有100多人通過Zoom參會,參會人會顯示在帳篷一側的大屏幕上。帳篷之外,會議的背景是一叢高大的松樹,針葉落下,仿佛鋪了一層紅色的地毯。

這里的風光讓人有一種置身于露營地的感覺。橋水的員工們已經學會了如何保護椅子不被落下的樹液侵蝕。原先的屏幕和網絡攝像頭在室外經歷幾周的風吹雨打后壞掉了,便被替換成了防風雨的版本。

橋水甚至解決了“帶羽毛的新鄰居們”在視頻通話時發出的啁啾聲——通過部署噪音消除軟件Krisp。當然這個軟件也可以幫助那些家里有孩子和寵物的人消除噪聲。

“我聽到很多鳥叫聲,但你什么也聽不到?!鄙泶㏕恤、光著腳的巴爾?迪亞把腳邊的人字拖踢開,對著Zoom解釋道。

“帳篷辦公室”的地點頗為隱蔽,以避免被小徑上的徒步旅行者偶然發現。橋水的房地產經理哈德利?哈斯雷格雷夫表示:“外界也會想要了解我們對沖基金在做什么,所以我們也必須考慮安全問題——要知道,在室外工作要比在室內工作麻煩得多?!?/p>

對于森林辦公,她還有一個重要建議:“無論如何都不要忘了抹防曬霜?!?/p>

新英格蘭地區的氣候變化莫測,在8月的颶風期間,橋水就曾經暫時關閉了室外場地。但他們估計,團隊依然計劃在那里盡可能長時間地工作,無論穿著防風大衣還是厚帽子,也要堅持下去,一直到10月底。

“舒適感肯定和室內無法相比,但在室外也可以感受到一些積極的東西?!卑蜖?迪亞補充道。他們已經定好雪季前搬離森林,把戶外辦公設備搬進室內——這可能得花掉整個晚上。

自上述舉措實施以來,投資部門的生產率指標有所改善。不管疫情是否會持續,該團隊都打算明年夏天繼續使用這個木質的工作空間。

但他們也不得不忍受偶然出現的干擾:9月初的一天,市場收盤后不久,一棵老橡樹從大帳篷的臺階邊上倒了下來?!白罱覀冇龅搅撕芏唷畼涞膯栴}’?!惫吕?哈斯雷格雷夫補充道。幸運的是,這棵樹只撞到了停車場。(財富中文網)

本文另一版本登載于《財富》雜志2020年10月刊,標題為《森林里的對沖基金》。

編譯:楊二一

編輯:徐曉彤

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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