Friday, July 22, 2011

The Bridgewater Principles, Part II

This week, John Cassidy profiled Ray Dalio, co-CEO and CIO of Bridgewater Associates. Dalio is best known for two things: 1) running one of the largest and most successful hedge fund groups in the world, and 2) instituting a culture at the firm based on a set of principles of "radical transparency" and non-emotional decision-making.

This sort of culture can either be a blessing (you're working with a team of very honest and forthright people who won't stab you in the back) or a nightmare (you're working with a team of obsessive-compulsives who will stab you in the front). The particular 3d instantiation that you end up with from your 2d stack of paper is going to be highly dependent on who's doing the instantiating. Cassidy makes the whole thing sound a bit too much like a medieval monastery: tucked away, lots of self-criticism, spiritual proctors, the whole nine yards. It makes me wonder how high-strung he keeps the team over there. On the other hand, Dalio mentions in his Hedge Fund Association talk that creativity is very important, so perhaps there's more of a search for the fortunate accident than one might believe from the article.

Previously: Kevin Roose profiled Dalio for New York Magazine

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