A peek inside one of the world’s most secretive hedge funds
Most companies have mission statements that spell out the firm’s goals, strategies and details on its ideal corporate culture. Usually, they are a page or two long. Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates, the biggest and perhaps most interesting hedge fund in the world, has its own mission statement of sorts, called ‘Principles.’ It’s 123 pages long.
Bridgewater is known for its size, with well over $100 billion in assets, but also for its extremely unique culture, spearheaded by Dalio, who preaches “radical truth and radical transparency.” He gave a bit of a window into what that means on Monday during a talk with Bloomberg.
Dalio said that all conversations that happen within the company walls are recorded, and that all employees have access to those conversations. “I didn’t want to have spin,” Dalio said.
Bridgewater, which reportedly has an extremely high turnover rate, with one-quarter of new employees leaving within the first two years, is often called cultish for its brutally honest culture. Dalio compares the first 18 months at the Connecticut hedge fund to boot camp. “Some make it and some don’t make it. And so we call it ‘getting to the other side,’” he said earlier this year.
Bloomberg TV's Stephanie Ruhle, to her credit, asked Dalio directly whether the firm has cult-like qualities. He refuted those claims, saying Bridgewater “is the opposite of a cult -- everybody being able to have their own points of view and being able to work through them with thoughtful disagreement.”
That’s well put, though maybe whitewashed a bit. Bridgewater pushes the idea of a meritocracy where weakness of individuals are exposed and discussed publicly. "If you talk behind people’s backs at Bridgewater you are called a slimy weasel,” Dalio wrote in his manifesto.
So be transparent, bordering on blunt, but don’t act before educating yourself fully. "Don’t make the mistake of being a dumb s**t with a confident opinion,” he wrote in ‘Principles.’
“It’s not for everyone,” Dalio once said of the firm. Those who get to “the other side” do plenty well though.
In the latest hiring roundup, Jefferies opens a new office, Citi plans a commercial banking push in Asia and an investment research firm looks to double its staff in New York.
If you’re a 25-year-old who works in investment banking, it clearly makes sense to hang around for another five years – at least.
More than a few hedge funds could have enforcement letters on their desk in the coming months. The SEC just issued a damning report on the industry, noting that a number of “deficiencies” plague the industry, including firms using more favorable valuation strategies to make their fund look stronger in marketing materials.
Here’s Bloomberg’s latest list of the most influential people in the business world. Bankers and executives make up the majority of the list.
Not so fast European bankers. EU regulators are reportedly looking over the individual contracts of bankers who’ve been given monthly allowances to help them evade bonus caps.
BNP has promoted Yann Gerardin to head its investment bank. Gerardin is currently the bank’s head of global equities and commodity derivatives. Meanwhile, UBS just named Roger Naylor and Robert Karofsky co-heads of global equities at its investment bank.
The SEC is apparently very serious about enticing people to rat on their bosses. It just handed out a record $30 million whistle blowing award for someone who helped lock down an undisclosed securities case.
Buzz Around the Office
While doing a segment on medical marijuana, an Alaska news reporter admitted that she is in fact the owner of the organization that was featured in the piece. She then told viewers that she’d be dedicating all of her time to her other endeavor. "And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice but, f*** it, I quit,” she said on live TV.
Quote of the Day: “Just remember, happiness can never buy money.” – Michael Bloomberg’s sarcastic response to whether Wall Street works people too hard