WSJ News Exclusive | Bridgewater Associates Reshuffles Leadership Ranks

Bridgewater Associates is shuffling its management ranks after one of the most challenging years in the hedge-fund giant’s history.

One of Bridgewater’s top executives, chief operating officer Brian Kreiter, is leaving. Nir Bar Dea, previously the co-head of Bridgewater’s “investment engine,” was promoted to deputy chief executive under Chief Executive David McCormick. Bridgewater is also creating an investment committee “to broaden the decision making” beyond Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio and co-chief investment officers Bob Prince and Greg Jensen.

The changes are the latest leadership moves meant to help transition the world’s largest hedge fund away from Mr. Dalio’s day-to-day leadership.

The decisions were announced to staff last week in an email from Mr. McCormick and the message was posted on LinkedIn Friday morning after The Wall Street Journal notified Bridgewater of a planned article on the changes. A Bridgewater spokesman said Friday the message was always intended to become public.

After posting its worst monthly loss in history in March, Bridgewater’s flagship fund, Pure Alpha, ended the year down 7.6%. A more leveraged version of the fund lost 12.6%. The performance suffered in comparison to banner years by other prominent macroeconomic investors. Rokos Capital Management and Caxton Associates, for example, notched returns of 44% and 42.2% for the year in their master and flagship funds, respectively. A Bridgewater spokesman said Friday most of the funds Bridgewater managed last year made money, but the performance of Pure Alpha largely determines Bridgewater’s overall financial health, given that the firm’s other main funds—known as All Weather—have low, fixed management fees and no performance fees.

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