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For a full decade now, Bridgewater Associates has been writing its “Book of the Future,” and not just the one that involves creating a robotic Ray Dalio that will, after the Singularity, run Bridgewater Associates as a kind of closed system, accumulating capital as a matter of principle rather than on behalf of any living things, who will of course no longer have anything to add. Until then, however, law and practicality dictate that human beings run hedge funds, and Ray Dalio is 71 and will not be able to do so forever. And that requires succession planning which, even when done in accordance with Principles, is apparently not easy, given the number that have come and gone over the years with more or less fuss.

But what a decade of fumbling about failed to accomplish, a humbling year may have achieved: Once again, Bridgewater has a new constitution, with an investment senate over which Dalio will preside as a kind of dear leader-vice president.

Bridgewater is also creating an investment committee “to broaden the decision making” beyond Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio and co-chief investment officers Bob Prince and Greg Jensen…. The newly created investment committee is the latest iteration of various structures the firm has tried over time to give rising stars more responsibility. On the management side, Bridgewater for a time had an informal management training committee called the Politburo. On the investment side, it had the G8, which later came to be called the G7 or G6 as members left…. Osman Nalbantoglu, co-head of the investment engine, will head the investment committee. Mr. Dalio will be the tiebreaker should Messrs. Prince, Jensen and the rest of the committee disagree.

And who else will serve in this magic circle in the mystical forest? Well, the mayor of the tent city has been called inside, as has the firm’s highest-ranking and most-aggrieved woman.

One of Bridgewater’s top executives, Chief Operating Officer Brian Kreiter, is leaving. Nir Bar Dea, previously the co-head of Bridgewater’s “investment engine,” was promoted to deputy chief executive under Chief Executive David McCormick…. Gerry Pasciucco, previously the vice chairman of Morgan Stanley and an adviser to Bridgewater’s internal board, was named head of finance and strategy…. [Karen] Karniol-Tambour has since returned from leave and is part of the investment committee and another new committee Mr. McCormick announced.

And thus begins anew the game of thrones.

Mr. Bar Dea, the new deputy CEO, has been at Bridgewater for roughly six years and previously served in the Israeli special forces. His elevation marks a meteoric rise. His former job co-running Bridgewater’s investment engine was viewed internally as one of the most complex managerial jobs at Bridgewater.

A person close to Bridgewater said it was too soon to tell whether Mr. Bar Dea was being groomed to be Bridgewater’s next chief executive and that Mr. McCormick planned to identify several potential successors.

Hedge Fund Bridgewater Reshuffles Leadership Ranks After Bruising Year [WSJ]



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