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MONEY MANAGEMENT

Ray Dalio to step down from co-CEO role as part of shakeup at Bridgewater

Ray Dalio
Ray Dalio

Raymond T. Dalio will step down as co-CEO of Bridgewater Associates by April 15.

In a letter to clients, Mr. Dalio said he will concentrate on his other roles as co-chief investment officer and co-chairman.

“As I love markets, I'm excited about this change and expect to remain a professional investor at Bridgewater until I die or until those running Bridgewater don't want me anymore,” he said in his client letter, which he posted to his LinkedIn account Wednesday morning.

Jonathan J. Rubinstein, who has served as co-CEO since May 2016, will leave the firm in April but remain an adviser to Bridgewater. Mr. Rubinstein, an electrical engineer and computer scientist by training, is well known for technology innovations he helped to launch at Apple Inc., NeXT Inc., Palm Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co.

“While over the last 10 months Jon has helped build a plan to redesign our core technology platform and has brought in a group of extremely talented executives to build out our technology leadership, we mutually agree that he is not a cultural fit for Bridgewater,” Mr. Dalio said in the letter.

Mr. Dalio will be replaced as co-CEO by David McCormick, currently president of the $160 billion institutional money management firm, with existing co-CEO Eileen Murray. Bridgewater spokeswoman Ryan FitzGibbons did not provide information about Bridgewater's plans to replace Mr. McCormick as president.

Mr. Dalio will continue to share the co-CIO role with his longtime co-CIO partners Robert Prince, whose Bridgewater tenure totals 31 years, and Greg Jensen, who has put in 21 years at the firm. Mr. Dalio founded the company 42 years ago.

Mr. Dalio's co-chairman counterpart is private equity specialist John Megrue, who joined Bridgewater on Jan. 1. Mr. Megrue has been a leader in the private equity industry for more than 30 years. He also is chairman of Apax Partners U.S.

Mr. Dalio reminded Bridgewater investors that by stepping down as co-CEO — a temporary role he took on last year when Mr. Jensen shifted his duties to concentrate solely on his co-CIO duties — he merely is following the firm's 10-year pre-determined succession plan.

“Any organization run by a 60-plus-year-old that says that it isn't in transition is either na´ve or disingenuous,” Mr. Dalio said in his letter. “For that reason, when I was about 60 (seven years ago), Bridgewater started its management and equity transition with a goal of having others replace me. As explained at the time, we allowed for this transition to take up to 10 years because we knew that getting things right would take some adjusting of the ways we did things and some trial and error. We have done what we have said we would do.”