Bridgewater Associates has laid off several dozen employees across the company this month, an unusually large cut at the world’s largest hedge fund firm.
The layoffs impacted Bridgewater’s research department and client-services team as well as among its recruiters. The cuts also affected the firm’s “audit groups” that assess the performance of employees in various departments, and its “core management team”—a management training program conceived by founder Ray Dalio. Bridgewater veterans of more than 15 years were among those laid off in Zoom meetings and given several days’ notice.
Bridgewater has also deferred until next year most of the incoming first-year analysts in its “investment engine,” who work in research, account management and trading. A person close to the firm said Bridgewater wanted to avoid introducing new employees remotely. As of 2019, the company employed about 1,600 people.
In a statement, Bridgewater said that, given the changing world, “team members will be working more from home so we won’t need the same number of support people, new technologies are changing what type of people we need and how we serve our clients, and we also want to become more efficient. While this will produce more than normal attrition in terms of people leaving the firm this year it won’t be greatly more than normal and we will continue to invest and hire in key areas.”