Bridgewater’s co-chief executive Eileen Murray is exiting the giant hedge fund, leaving former Treasury official David McCormick in charge of the $160bn investment group founded by Ray Dalio.
Succession planning has proven fraught at Bridgewater, with a rotating cast of senior executives vying to run the Connecticut-based money manager shaped in Mr Dalio’s image.
Ms Murray, a former senior Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse executive, first took over as co-CEO in 2014, alongside Mr Dalio’s heir-apparent Greg Jensen. But in 2016 Mr Jensen’s co-CEO title was handed to Apple executive Jon Rubinstein, after reports of clashes with his mentor, but he remained as co-chief investment officer alongside Mr Dalio and Bob Prince, a Bridgewater veteran.
Mr Rubinstein lasted less than a year at the famously iconoclastic hedge fund, stepping down in 2017 after “mutually agree(ing) that he is not a cultural fit”, Mr Dalio said at the time. The former Apple executive nicknamed “The Podfather” for his role in launching the iPod was replaced by Mr McCormick, who at the time had been linked with a senior role in the Trump administration.
In that shake-up, Mr Dalio also relinquished many of his management responsibilities to focus on his jobs as co-chairman and co-CIO of the hedge fund. The latest reshuffle will see Ms Murray — who was previously linked to the top Wells Fargo job — leave in the first quarter of 2020, at which time Mr McCormick will be Bridgewater’s sole CEO.
“It is a remarkable thing when a founder who built a company over a number of decades can successfully transition the company to the next generation,” Mr Dalio said in a statement. “Eileen Murray was key to that. Now that we have made that transition, Eileen wants to move on to something new and to make room for others. I can’t possibly express how grateful I am to her for helping us get to this point. I expect that she will always be a close friend.”
Despite a more muddled post-crisis performance, Bridgewater is the best-performing hedge fund of all time, having returned $57.8bn in net gains since its inception, according to LCH Investments, the fund of hedge funds run by the Edmond de Rothschild group. The closest runner-up is George Soros, who has made $43.9bn since 1973.