Bridgewater Associates Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Bridgewater Associates Reviews

Updated Nov 14, 2019

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3.6
70%
Recommend to a Friend
80%
Approve of CEO
Bridgewater Associates CEO Ray Dalio
Ray Dalio
194 Ratings
Pros
  • "Challenging, surrounded by smart people(in 52 reviews)

  • "Incredible Benefits (401k, Medical, Free-Food, Transportation, Meditation rooms)(in 27 reviews)

Cons
  • "no work life balance, if you don’t drink the kool-aid (culture) you are out(in 28 reviews)

  • "Long hours, difficult to move beyond the curve(in 14 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time

    Pros

    Good conditions very clear sense of direction. Easy to work with people. Generally very positive enjoyable happy place to be and work

    Cons

    Like all places there can be some frustrating times and I will be able name a few but they are not overall leading to a bad experience which is overall good

    Bridgewater Associates2015-06-12
  2. Helpful (22)

    "Good Luck"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Bridgewater Associates

    Pros

    Excellent Training Program for Investment Associates

    Cons

    Company is divided into Investment Associates and Management Associates. Management Associates are in charge of everything despite having zero knowledge of the business-- which is investing-- and zero formal training in management other then Bridgewater's own in-house principles, which typically don't produce great results. Management Associates are also paid extremely well relative to a) their other opportunities (basically management consulting) and b) their marketable skills (which are zero if they are trained in the Bridgewater management style, which is broadly ineffective and cannot operate anywhere except within the company itself). Investment Associates, in contrast, are not paid well relative to their other opportunities (top tier hedge funds). This creates a corrosive culture and management is not sympathetic about the insufficient comp of the investment professionals. For those who have been with the firm for many years, comp begins to increase with Phantom Equity (but not real equity); but this typically requires signing lifelong Trade Secret Agreements which prevent the investment professionals for ever leaving, so once again the incentive to compensate fairly (as if employees had any options to go elsewhere) is nonexistent. All investment associates sign two-year blanket non-compete agreements which make finding employment in the finance industry after leaving the firm extremely difficult. There are many employees who are unhappy, but realistically cannot leave because of the pieces of paper they have signed. The culture itself is cult-like. A typical exercise in transparency will consist of Ray Dalio creating a real-time poll for all the participants of a meeting to fill out on their iPads (yes, everyone has a company-issued iPad with Principles-related software and apps, and is required to carry it at all times) in order to see who agrees with what he is saying and who agrees with somebody else. You can imagine the results. The iPad can also be used to rate other employees along various dimensions of thinking and emotional capabilities (such as "Linear Thinking," "Lateral Thinking," "Stress Tolerance," "Grabbing the Bull by the Horns," and the enigmatic "Comfortable Knowing What He/She Doesn't Know"); the rankings are then weighted according to the rankers' "believability" (because to treat all rankings as equally valid would be democratic, not meritocratic-- a big no-no in Bridgewater's culture), which is largely calculated based on the correlation with scores Ray has given to people (so the more your ratings of other people are similar to Ray's, the more believable you are). This has the predictable effect of pigeon-holing people into both high and low stations relatively quickly. Despite the questionable accuracy of these personality metrics, the company invests immense resources in analyzing the personality data. The engineer of IBM's Watson supercomputer was hired not to work on the systematic investment logic, but purely to analyze personality data. The firm's technological infrastructure is backwards, but because of Ray's obsession with the principles there are teams of dedicated software developers to build iPad apps while the management of billions of dollars continues to operate on 1990's technology.

    Bridgewater Associates2014-06-21
  3. "Great Place to learn and grow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Westport, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bridgewater Associates full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Hard and interesting work. Coworkers are all very accomplished and smart.

    Cons

    Some people do not understand the principles and use them to manipulate people.

    Bridgewater Associates2019-11-14
  4. "You get what you put in to it. Have a plan and see it get totally turned upside down in a good way. Leave your"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Analyst 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Incredible Benefits (401k, Medical, Free-Food, Transportation, Meditation rooms) Upward trend in training, guest speakers, public awards, diversity. Treats security as an enablement function You will be challenged on what you say and stand for and become a much stronger person (not just employee) for doing so. You form great relationships with co-workers who will push you (as a reference think about the bonds you formed with prior sport teammates during grueling training camps) Business casual most of the time Data tools Recent added alumni activity ++

    Cons

    Inconsistant communication from top of the house, games of telephone on what is what and delays Transformation initiatives take donkey ears and typically end in fire-drills Needs to improve diversity of background Multiple locations (travel between campus spots loses valuable senior management time but this is improving through technology) Quotas on data tools

    Continue reading
    Bridgewater Associates2019-11-02
  5. Helpful (1)

    "Challenging, but Great Place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Surrounded by super-smart colleagues who are driven and hold a high standard for their work Clear care for you by management and colleagues (have made truly incredible friends) Great benefits People tell it like it is Constantly put in positions to receive feedback and grow

    Cons

    Culture can be overwhelming at times (difficult to always be engaged with it) Company is promoting work flexibility and runs shuttles for commuting purposes, but work/Life balance suffers due to location in CT (I live in NYC) Not clear career paths outside of tech/investment communities, which can make it more difficult to carve out future roles

    Bridgewater Associates2019-09-20
  6. Helpful (1)

    "Fruitful experience at Bridgewater"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investment Associate in Westport, CT
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Unique management style: could be very efficient if it is done right

    Cons

    Too much bureaucracy, there need to be a "sync" for pretty much everything. There is no certainty, everything is subject to discussion and what makes sense. Could be more open-minded about new technology and don't just cherry pick LTCM as an excuse of why quant methods would always fail.

    Continue reading
    Bridgewater Associates2019-09-12
  7. "Difficult but can be rewarding"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant 

    I have been working at Bridgewater Associates full-time

    Pros

    You learn a lot about yourself and others. Benefits are great. Importance on community.

    Cons

    You have to pretty much forget everything you know and learn a new way of thinking.

    Bridgewater Associates2019-09-12
  8. Helpful (1)

    "A mixed bag"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investment Engineer in Westport, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Some incredibly smart people - Principles are good at the conceptual level - Good exposure to investment materials

    Cons

    - Poor implementation of processes and tools around the Principles - Not the best place to grow as an engineer - Horrible commute from NYC, even with the buses this is painful

    Bridgewater Associates2019-09-18
  9. Helpful (2)

    "Incredible place for the exact right personality"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Westport, CT
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great comp, smart people, can create wlb in some roles

    Cons

    Environment toxic if you’re not wired just so

    Continue reading
    Bridgewater Associates2019-08-14
  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great experience, culture, salary"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Portfolio Analyst in Greenwich, CT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Salary Culture People Location Flexibility Blah blah blah blah blha

    Cons

    Hard Work Competitive High expectations Not much room to grow

    Bridgewater Associates2019-06-13
Found 326 reviews