AQR plans $72M expansion, add up to 600 jobs

By Kevin Zimmerman

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AQR Capital Management LLC, a global investment management firm based in Greenwich, plans to expand its headquarters and operations in Connecticut over the next 10 years in what Gov. Dannel Malloy said is a more than $72 million project that will retain 540 jobs, create up to 600 more jobs and significantly increase the firm’s economic impact in the state.

The state Department of Economic and Community Development, through the First Five Plus program, will provide up to $28 million in loans and up to $7 million in grants to support the expansion project. State funding will be disbursed in multiple phases as AQR reaches certain job creation and retention milestones.

John Howard John Howard

The economic incentives will support the firm’s anticipated infrastructure investments at its 2 Greeenwich Plaza headquarters, including leasehold improvements and office space expansion, as well as technology enhancements to AQR’s data center in Trumbull.

“We have found Fairfield County to be a desirable location to base our firm and the quality of professionals we attract is outstanding,” AQR Principal and Chief Financial Officer John Howard said in the announcement.
Founded in 1998 in New York City as Applied Quantitative Research, AQR moved its operations to Connecticut in 2004. Since that time, the company had grown by more than 500 employees, according to AQR.

Signed into law in 2011, the First Five Plus program supports large-scale economic development projects to encourage job creation, new capital investment, and business expansion or relocation. In August, DECD reported that under the program, the first 13 participating companies had created about 3,800 jobs and were well on their way to the top-level job creation goal of 5,264 jobs. Those companies are investing almost $1.3 billion within Connecticut, more than five times the amount of assistance the state has provided through grants and loans.

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