Bridgewater Picks Research Head as Co-CIO for Sustainability

Bridgewater Associates named Karen Karniol-Tambour, one of its most senior executives, as co-chief investment officer for a new sustainability group.

Karniol-Tambour, who has been the firm’s director of investment research, will be joined in the post by Carsten Stendevad, a senior investment executive. The pair will run Bridgewater’s Sustainable Investing Venture, according to a statement issued Wednesday.

Bridgewater, which was founded by billionaire Ray Dalio and manages $150 billion, started advising clients last year on how to manage investments to meet both societal and financial goals. Karniol-Tambour said in September that social conditions in the U.S. such as inequality will increasingly affect markets.

“Sustainability is the future as more and more investors of different ages, from different parts of the world, not only care about risk and return but also care about these issues,” Karniol-Tambour, who turns 36 later this month, said in an interview. “It was fringe just a couple of years ago, but now much more mainstream.”

While Bridgewater manages assets by betting on broad economic trends, its sustainability push will involve picking securities that are the most aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which seek to end poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change. That could include investing in shares of renewable energy companies, buying sustainable bonds or trading in commodities that are key to the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Bridgewater plans to open two sustainable funds by the end of June or early in the third quarter, a person with knowledge of the plans said. A spokeswoman for the Westport, Connecticut-based firm declined to comment.

Karniol-Tambour and Stendevad, 48, will also co-chair a new sustainable investing committee. Dan Hochman, head of sustainability research, will be a member of that committee. Lauren Hardardt is chief operating officer for the new venture.

Karniol-Tambour will remain on Bridgewater’s broader investment committee.

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