As Dalio Steps Back, Two More Bridgewater Billionaires Rise

(Bloomberg) -- Ray Dalio is the first to admit that Bridgewater Associates is a tough place to work.

But for those able to navigate the unorthodox culture -- defined by Dalio’s mantra of radical transparency -- the rewards are worth it.

His long-time lieutenants, Greg Jensen, 43, and Bob Prince, 59, have amassed fortunes of at least $1 billion, according to an analysis by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, largely thanks to the rising value of the world’s largest hedge fund firm, which topped $16 billion at the end of 2017.

As Dalio Steps Back, Two More Bridgewater Billionaires Rise

More billionaires may be on the way as the Westport, Connecticut-based money manager looks to spread its ownership among a wider pool of employees. Bridgewater, which manages about $160 billion, told staff last week it’s planning to change its partnership structure, a move that will give more of them a say in the governance and management of the company, and ease Dalio’s succession plans.

A Bridgewater spokeswoman said Jensen, Prince and the firm had no comment.

For most of Bridgewater’s 43-year existence, Dalio was the sole owner -- one reason he’s worth $14.5 billion on the Bloomberg index, a ranking of the world’s 500 richest people. He’s currently No. 87.

In 2012, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas bought a $250 million stake. Bridgewater told clients at the time that Dalio and his family trusts had sold about 20 percent of their Bridgewater shares to more than a dozen key employees, including Prince and Jensen.

As Dalio Steps Back, Two More Bridgewater Billionaires Rise

The two men each own about 5 percent of the firm. The Texan pension fund said Thursday that its 2.4 percent stake was worth $384 million at the end of 2017, valuing Bridgewater at $16.3 billion. That means Jensen and Prince’s holdings are worth about $800 million each. Combined with their estimated compensation since 2012, their fortunes exceed 10 figures.

Texas teachers have also done well. The investment has produced an annualized gain of 15 percent through the end of 2017. Investing in Bridgewater’s flagship hedge fund -- Pure Alpha II -- returned an annualized 2.9 percent over the same period.

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