Bridgewater

  • June 6, 2014: Sign contract
  • June 9, 2014: First day on the job
  • June 19, 2014: Receive July Metro North pass in mail (paid with pre-tax dollars)
  • August 1, 2014: Approached on the way to the men’s room and asked how the struggle between your upper level you and your lower level you are coming; have no idea WTF this means
  • September 22, 2014: Overhear Ray talking to a lieutenant about a healthcare PM being one part Socrates, one part armadillo…scratch head
  • November 10, 2014: November 10, 2014: Confess to co-worker that it’s been months since you started and you still feel like you were just dropped onto a new planet with no instruction manual…are told this is normal
  • December 6, 2015: Acclimate to corporate culture

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Cutler, an architect who trained under the legendary Louis Kahn, had meticulously prepared a presentation about the history and environment of the piece of land that Bridgewater would like to use for its new 850,000-square-foot headquarters. The boat people didn’t care. They were shouting Cutler down. Boat people? Oh, yes. Boat people…Almost all of those crammed into the auditorium were opponents of Cutler’s and Bridgewater’s plan for the property. They cheered when opponents of the plan spoke, and jeered during speeches given by city administration officials, architects and developers from a company called BLT, which supports the plan…Cutler never got to explain his design for the Bridgewater “campus.” It includes two buildings separated by an interior courtyard and surrounded by a public park. The green rooftops will make the buildings invisible from the sky. And mirrors on the walls around the courtyard will disguise the buildings, reflecting only images of nearby trees, so that until you are actually in the buildings you won’t see them. [CNBC]

A plan to transform a gritty, industrial stretch of South End waterfront into a glassy headquarters for the world’s largest hedge fund came into sharper focus this week, following submission of zoning applications from developer Building and Land Technology. In addition to a five-story, 850,000-square-foot office, the campus for Bridgewater Associates calls for a helipad, a floating recreational barge, a restored estuary and a marina…The heart of the plan is a giant office complex designed by Cutler Anderson Architects. The Washington-based firm previously designed Bill Gates’ private home in Medina, Wash. Made up of two long, curved buildings joined in the center by bridges and paths, the structure is poised to become the most striking presence on the Stamford coastline. The project’s goal, according to the coastal site plan application, is “to house a corporation in an environment that fosters personal interaction and a strong connection to the living world.” [Stamford Advocate, earlier]

A couple weeks back, we noted that Bridgewater Associates had informed employees that they would be required to sit for an exam on the contents of Principles, a 123 page company handbook of sorts, written by founder Ray Dalio and comprised of hundreds of “principles” that guide every aspect of life at the firm. Though familiarity with them has always been an essential part of the job, there has never been a formal test determining that all employees met the required level of proficiency and some people were said to be a bit nervous about what to expect. Luckily, a group called the Principles Training Team sent out an email yesterday walking everyone through what “Test Day” will entail and it appears there is nothing to worry about. The exam, which will begin at 9AM and end at 5PM with a break for lunch is simply “meant to feel like a day-long conversation on Principles.” That doesn’t sound so bad, right? Sure, parts of that conversation (which will take place between you and your computer), during which you “should have no materials on your desk,” will be graded, but Bridgewater is just trying to determine “what you know and honestly think about Principles.” Think of this thing as just a coupla wildebeests, havin’ a chat. Of course, as is the case in any animal kingdom, sometimes you’ll find a few wildebeests looking to cut corners via cheat sheets– you don’t want to be those wildebeests, as the PTT will “audit for cheating, and cheating will be dealt with severely.” To that end, don’t be a weaselly wildebeest who suddenly comes with a stomach bug on Test Day. The PTT will “keep track of lateness or unexpected absence,” and cautions that one might want to “think twice about calling in ‘sick’!” Read more »

As many of you know, Bridgewater Associates is mega-successful, multi-billion dollar hedge fund guided by Principles, a company handbook written by founder and Mentor Ray Dalio, which instructs employees to go on radical truth seeking missions in order to better themselves and in turn the firm. Bridgewater takes the principles very seriously and each member of the staff is given spiral bound copies to read, highlight, and imbue their souls with. While the idea of Truth above all else is the overarching idea, there are literally hundreds of principles (such as 31a. “Ask yourself whether you have earned the right to have an opinion,” 130. “…Firing people is not a big deal…” and 184. “Use checklists”), which span 123 pages and are broken down into outline form after being explained at length. Though familiarity with them has always been an essential part of the job, there has never been a formal test determining that all employees met the required level of efficiency. Until now. Read more »

Last Friday afternoon, while many a financial services employee was dealing with the fallout of receiving a bonus they did not believe to be commensurate with the work they put in for 2011, Bridgewater was dealing with a far weightier issue. The hedge fund had a thief in its ranks and said thief’s jig was up. Read more »

  • 08 Sep 2011 at 10:11 AM

Ray Dalio: Preacha Tellin’ The Truth And It Hurts!

The truth, according to Bridgewater, being: 1) the world is going to hell in a handbasket and 2) 2011 will be the Year of the Hyena. Read more »