Bridgewater Associates

2016-07-19

Bridgewater manages approximately $150 billion in global investments for a wide array of institutional clients, including foreign governments and central banks, corporate and public pension funds, university endowments and charitable foundations. Approximately 1,500 people work at Bridgewater, which is based in Westport, Connecticut.

Founded in 1975 out of a two-bedroom apartment, Bridgewater remains an independent, employee-run organization. Throughout its 40-year history, Bridgewater has been recognized as a top-performing manager and an industry innovator. Bridgewater was one of the few firms to have positive performance during the 2008 financial crisis. The firm has received over 50 industry awards and various recognitions in the past 10 years; including awards for industry innovation, performance, quality of research, client service and client satisfaction, quality of operations and operational infrastructure. Additionally, in 2014 Bridgewater received industry recognitions for: Best in Institutional Portfolio Management, Best in Risk Budgeting, Top Workplaces, Best Client Service, Investment Company of the Year, Overall Excellence, and multiple awards for Innovation and Performance. Its clients and employees routinely give Bridgewater top satisfaction ratings in annual surveys.

Bridgewater's unique results are a product of its unique culture. Truth and excellence are valued above all else. In order to be excellent we need to know what's true, especially those things that we would rather not be true, so that we can decide how best to deal with them. We want logic and reason to be the basis for making decisions. It is through this striving to be excellent by being radically truthful and transparent that we build meaningful work and meaningful relationships.

At Bridgewater, our overriding objective is excellence, or more precisely, constant improvement. We believe that producing excellence requires approaching both work and people in a principled way. Above all else, we want to find out what is true and figure out how best to deal with it. We value independent thinking and innovation, recognizing that independent thinking generates disagreement and innovation requires making mistakes.

To foster this thinking and innovation, we maintain an environment of radical openness, even though that honesty can be difficult and uncomfortable. At Bridgewater each individual has the right and the obligation to ensure that what they do and what we do collectively in pursuit of excellence makes sense to them. Everyone is encouraged to be both assertive and open-minded in order to build their understanding and discover their best path. The types of disagreements and mistakes that are typically discouraged elsewhere are expected at Bridgewater because they are the fuel for the learning that helps us maximize the utilization of our potential. It is through this unique culture that we have produced the meaningful work and meaningful relationships that those who work here and our clients have come to expect.

To help communicate what it’s like here, some of the people who work at Bridgewater describe it in the videos below. I am also posting my Principles, which we use, debate and change to agree on how we should be with each other in our pursuit of excellence.

- Ray Dalio

http://www.bwater.com

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