Bridgewater Associates Reviews

Updated Jan 13, 2022

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Found 442 of over 504 reviews

4.1
81%
Recommend to a Friend
94%
Approve of CEO
Bridgewater Associates CEO David McCormick
David McCormick
39 Ratings
Pros
  • "You're surrounded by lots of smart people(in 70 reviews)

  • "Bridgewater really takes care of its people(in 39 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Nobody wants to hire ex-Bridgewater people because of the lack of any real useful skills and non-compete problems(in 39 reviews)

  • "company doesnt has a good work life balance(in 37 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

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    1. 4.0
      Former Employee

      Great culture

      Jun 11, 2015 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      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

      1 person found this review helpful
    2. 1.0
      Current Employee

      Good Luck

      Jun 21, 2014 -  
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      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.

      30 people found this review helpful
    3. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      Great place to work that cares about its employees

      Jan 13, 2022 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Fast paced and challenging environment Really exceptional level of genuine care during covid, making sure employees were taken care of (info, resources, etc)

      Cons

      Occasional long hours and stress

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    4. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Great

      Jan 8, 2022 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great personal development through a high-standards culture

      Cons

      High standards means hard work, not a place to coast

      Be the first to find this review helpful
    5. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Great place to work

      Jan 5, 2022 - Recruiter in Westport, CT
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great growth opportunities and ownership

      Cons

      Not for those with thin skin or big egos

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    6. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      very great job

      Dec 20, 2021 - Machine Learning Specialist in Westport, CT
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      super fun and learned a million new things

      Cons

      stressful and work a ton

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    7. 2.0
      Former Employee

      it's complicated

      Dec 18, 2021 - Associate in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - Smart people - Great benefits all paid for 100% by company - Free food - Brand name raises eyebrows - Strong culture (of course, this is entirely personal), lots of feedback and people really care about achieving good outcomes

      Cons

      - Extremely vague non-compete agreement mandatory for investment positions - Relatively small company with way too many middle management layers - Very few people actually doing interesting investing work other than for a small core group who has been there for decades - Performance has been poor for the past 10 years, hard no to have a bleak outlook for the long term

      2 people found this review helpful
    8. 4.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Bwater Review

      Dec 15, 2021 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great culture for learning, great benefits.

      Cons

      None that I can think of.

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    9. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Great place to work

      Nov 26, 2021 - Project Manager 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Flexible work options and great food on-site.

      Cons

      Sometimes there are multiple layers of approvals needed for something small.

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    10. 5.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      If you can hang with the culture its a great place to work

      Nov 10, 2021 - Recruiting Coordinator in Westport, CT
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      -Fosters a great culture of meaningful relationships -Feedback culture ensures you are never worried about if you are doing well/if people like you -Meaningful work is a priority -D&I is a priority -Very intelligent people -Efficiency is a huge focus -Excellent benefits; the company obviously genuinely cares for its employees -Great pay - usually higher than the market

      Cons

      -Most likely will go from feeling like a big fish in a small pond to feeling like a small fish in a big pond -The feedback culture is not for everyone, and the job will become very painful if you cannot get past the initial struggles with the culture -Your onboarding can make or break your success (which is also the case at many other companies)

      2 people found this review helpful
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