Billionaire Ray Dalio is denying a report he could return to Bridgewater, the giant hedge fund he left less than a year ago — a move that the report claims could trigger mass resignations across the firm.
On Friday, the New York Times reported that less than a year after his departure, Dalio was weighing a return to Bridgewater to start a new fund within the giant investment firm as a way to bolster revenue.
But employees — including Dalio’s handpicked CEO Nir Bar Dea — are bristling at the idea and threatening to resign if Dalio moves forward with the plan.
Over the weekend Dalio pushed back on the report, “It has been falsely reported that I’m pushing to come back to run Bridgewater and some people have asked me if that’s true. It’s not true. I assure you that I have no desire to run or control Bridgewater again. I am delighted and proud that Bridgewater is now in the hands of a strong leadership team to run as they see fit.”
While Dalio, 74, has slowly reduced his official role at the firm over the last few years — stepping down as CEO in 2017 and leaving as Co-CIO last October to being retirement — he is still involved in a less form capacity as a CIO mentor who advises and meets with investors.
As part of his exit package, Dalio is paid roughly $1 billion each year as the firm slowly buys back his ownership stake. Under the retirement contract, Dalio is also allowed to return — and regain control Bridgewater if the fund’s performance falters.
But people close to the bank dispute the very premise that the fund’s performance has flagged.
“Bridgewater transitioned Ray’s role out of the investment decision making in mid-2020 to an Investment Committee and in the three years since the creation of that new committee, Bridgewater’s flagship fund had produced an average annual return of 10 percent, after fees,” a source close to the fund said.
Dalio, who is worth $19 billion according to a Forbes estimate, has previously suggested the firm would implode without his leadership. “Take me out, and get what you deserve,” the Times reports Dalio told multiple Bridgewater executives.
Representatives for Bridgewater and Dalio declined to comment.