Bridgewater Associates, the world's biggest hedge fund firm, said it's planning job cuts because it won't need the same number of support staff as more employees work from home and new technologies are changing the types of people it needs to serve clients.
"The world is changing in dramatic ways and we are taking steps to adapt to it," Bridgewater said in an emailed statement Friday. "While this will produce more than normal attrition in terms of people leaving the firm this year, it won't be greatly more than normal and we will continue to invest and hire in key areas." Departing employees will get "generous severance and extended health coverage," the firm said.
Bridgewater's assets fell to $138 billion at the end of April from $163 billion at the end of February. The firm got hit by the coronavirus at "the worst possible moment," founder and co-chief investment officer Ray Dalio wrote in mid-March, explaining that it had positioned portfolios to profit from rising markets. Bridgewater's Pure Alpha II fund dropped 20.6% for the first half of the year.
The firm has already cut several dozen of its 1,580 employees, the Wall Street Journal reported, saying the moves affect employees in research, client services, recruitment and other departments.
A spokesman for the Westport, Conn.-based firm declined to comment on the timing and the number of reductions.