Behold: the tragically empty office of Phil Duff’s failed hedge fund, Duff Capital Advisors. When he launched it in the spring of 2008, Duff, a former Morgan Stanley executive, envisaged a fund that would manage billions. It would be bigger than Tiger, the $20 billion fund of his mentor, Julian Robertson, he said back in 2007, and better than Steve Cohen’s shop down the road. The offices, for which he agreed to pay $5 million a year, were going to be swankier than even the fabled Amaranth, where traders had their own billiards room, a music room with a mixing board, and a special machine that sucked away cigar smoke. But alas, the Crash of 2008 thwarted Duff’s grand plans. With the monied classes holding on tight to their remaining billions, the fund failed to secure investors, and many millions of dollars in setup costs later, everyone had to be let go. Now, all that remains is the shell of the office: 43,400 square feet of office space, complete with food court, showers, and millions of dollars in other amenities sitting unused in an office park in Greenwich, Connecticut. According to Bloomberg:
As of late September, his $39,000 desk — a single slab of caramel-colored walnut with bronze legs — still sat in a corner office with views across Long Island Sound.
Poignant. Click through for our slideshow of a boomtime office that, like the ruins of Pompeii, has been frozen in time.