2017-03-01 12:09:04
Bridgewater Associates, World’s Biggest Hedge Fund, Shakes Up Leadership

Ray Dalio, the 67-year-old billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates, is stepping down from the helm of the world’s biggest hedge fund in a management shake-up at the firm.

He will step down as co-chief executive, but will remain co-chairman and co-chief investment officer, he wrote in a letter on LinkedIn.

Mr. Dalio also said that Jon Rubinstein, the former Apple executive that Mr. Dalio hired less than a year ago to become co-chief executive, would leave the firm.

About Mr. Rubinstein’s departure, Mr. Dalio said that both men “mutually agree that he is not a cultural fit.”

David McCormick, the firm’s president, will step in as co-chief executive with Eileen Murray.

Mr. McCormick, who served as Treasury undersecretary for international affairs under President George W. Bush, was said to have been considered for several jobs in the Trump administration. He met with President Trump shortly after the election.

It is the latest in a series of tumultuous management moves over the last few years.

Bridgewater, which manages around $150 billion in assets, stands out within the secretive hedge fund industry for its culture of radical transparency that Mr. Dalio recently called “unusual.”

“Some people absolutely hate it, and some people could never work anywhere else,” Mr. Dalio said at a hedge fund conference in Manhattan in September.

The firm’s culture was the focus of articles in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal last year. Mr. Dalio reacted angrily to the coverage, posting lengthy responses on LinkedIn and calling the stories sensational and misleading.

In his letter posted Wednesday on LinkedIn, Mr. Dalio said the moves were part of Bridgewater’s 10-year transition strategy in preparation for the day when he would eventually step down. It involved creating a management committee with multiple members called a “planful transition from a founder-led boutique to a professionally managed institution.”

“Any organization run by a 60+ year old that says that it isn’t in transition is either naïve or disingenuous,” he wrote.

Mr. Rubinstein was brought in last year to take over from Greg Jensen amid reports of a rift between Mr. Dalio and Mr. Jensen. Both men disputed that there was any personal drama.

In his letter, Mr. Dalio wrote, “As I love markets, I’m excited about this change and expect to remain a professional investor at Bridgewater until I die or until those running Bridgewater don’t want me anymore.”