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Ray Dalio handed over control of Bridgewater to a new generation of investors

posted onOctober 15, 2022

Billionaire investor Ray Dalio who founded Bridgewater Associates 47 years ago, has handed over control of the $150 billion hedge fund to a new generation of investors, the firm said.

The 73-year-old founder of the world’s largest hedge fund has transferred his majority stake to the board but remains a “meaningful” owner of the company. He will now hold a position as a member of the operating board, senior investor and as a mentor to the firm’s CIOs. 

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of this moment for Bridgewater and Ray. Ray founded Bridgewater 47 years ago and, over a decade ago, set out on this journey to transition it,” co-CEOs Nir Bar Dea and Mark Bertolini wrote in an email to employees on Tuesday (Oct. 4) shared on Bridgewater’s website.

“This process wasn’t easy and we didn’t always agree, but together, we’ve now finished something that very few firms or founders have accomplished, shifting from being a founder-led boutique to being an enduring institution led successfully by the next generation. Looking forward, Ray will continue as a CIO mentor, an operating board member, and will remain an important part of our community.”

Dalio began transition plans as far back as 2010, but had difficulty finding successors he was comfortable with. In recent years, he took key steps toward his goal, stepping down from the CEO role in 2017 and the chairman role at the end of 2021. 

Dalio, who has been called both “the Steve Jobs of investing” and “the philosopher king of the financial universe”, was born in 1949 in, New York. According to the New York Magazine, Dalio began investing at age 12, buying shares of Northeast Airlines for $300 and tripling his investment after the airline merged with another company.

He received a bachelor's degree in finance from Long Island University (CW Post) and an MBA from Harvard Business School. After completing his studies, Dalio worked on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and in 1975, he founded Bridgewater Associates from his two-bedroom New York City apartment. Bridgewater in 2012 became the largest hedge fund in the world and the same year Dalio appeared on Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. 

Now 73, he is leaving Bridgewater's $150 billion in assets under management to a new generation of investors ready to add to his legacy. “This transition moment is the culmination of a 47-year journey,” Dalio said on Twitter.  "I didn't want to hold on until I died," he told Bloomberg.

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