Hedge funds, private equity firms seek Hamptons offices

Daniel Loeb and 66 Newtown Lane in East Hampton
Daniel Loeb and 66 Newtown Lane in East Hampton

The Hamptons has become a viable destination for Wall Street companies such as hedge funds and private equity firms, many of whom cite the impact of the 9/11 attacks and wanting an escape from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan as reasons to set up shop on the East End.

Commercial brokerages in the area have taken notice. In East Hampton, for example, more than 20 percent of a 20,000-square-foot building at 66 Newtown Lane is now leased to financial services firms, up from 5 percent a decade ago, according to Southampton-based Peconic Bay Realty, which manages the building.

“Our tenants jog or bike to work or come on their skateboards,” Esther Paster, a principal at Peconic, told the Wall Street Journal. “Every day they prove that the masters of the universe don’t need cubicles in Manhattan.”

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Manhattan-based firms that maintain a Hamptons branch include billionaire Daniel Loeb’s funds, Third Point LLC and Seneca Capital Advisors, according to the Journal. Representatives from Third Point and Seneca Capital declined to comment to the newspaper.

The terrorist attacks on Sept.11, 2001, were a catalyst for many, such as Bridgehampton Capital Management’s Kenneth Lee, to make the move, according to the Journal.

“I was in Seven World Trade Center on 9/11, as was my wife,” Lee, who is now based in Newman Village on Montauk Highway, told the newspaper. “We lost some of our taste for the city.” [WSJ]  — Hiten Samtani