There are newer employer reviews for Bridgewater Associates

2 people found this helpful

Great place to work if you want to develop personally and professionally, and are prepared to put you ego to one side.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Manager in Westport, CT
Former Employee - Manager in Westport, CT

I worked at Bridgewater Associates full-time (more than 3 years)

Pros

As open and transparent as I think any company could be - a clear set of values and principles on which the company is run which provides a framework for anyone to contribute if they want to. You get to work with some super-smart people and generally the quality of conversation is an order of magnitude better than other places I have worked at.

Cons

Bridgewater is facing some growing pains as it moves from being a small company run by Ray Dalio to something more institutionalized. Some of the principles that have worked well at a small level don't necessarily scale well, which results (for example) in managers through the ranks translating principles in a sometimes back handed way.

Bridgewater lacks a bit of a sense of humor - there is a fair amount of attention in the company on meaningful relationships, but the reality is everyone is pretty intensely focused on their business responsibility. I made fewer good friends at BW than other places I worked.

Because Bridgewater can hire great people given its brand, pay is ok but not great in most roles and unless you are in the top tier of the company long term progression is unlikely. But for three to five years, a great experience for most people who get past the first eighteen months,

Recommends
Neutral Outlook
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  1. 3 people found this helpful

    For the right person...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Bridgewater Associates

    Pros

    Intense and focused mentorship, no holds barred approach to problem solving and exacting rigor of logic in all conversations.
    If in the right department and management change, you can always ask the question - but don't expect the pat on the back for being the smartest or the most experienced. Thoughtful, considered questions and a particular brand of humility and hubris are always welcome.

    Cons

    The standards never slacken and there is no where to hide - expect to get home at the end of the day, every day, feeling like you've been put through a wringer in some regards.
    Additionally, the philosophical-culture enthusiast can get caught in a trap where talking seems more important than doing - but ultimately you are held accountable to what you do (or don't) deliver, so it requires a lot of discipline to be in this culture.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful

    A great place to start a career in investments

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Investment Associate in Westport, CT
    Current Employee - Investment Associate in Westport, CT

    I have been working at Bridgewater Associates full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Bridgewater hired me right out undergrad (where I was a Liberal Arts major) as an Investment Associate. I've been here for 3.5yrs. I'm really glad I came for the following reasons:
    -I've found the culture really fulfilling - work with brilliant people who push me hard to get better, but care a lot about me. As a result, I think I've grown a lot here.
    -The Investment Associate class - a nine month crash course on how to be an investor - was outstanding. Better (and harder) than any class I took at school.
    -Even past the first year, strong focus on training and developing. "Trading game" is a good example of a training tool - Bridgewater will take the other side of any global macro trade you want to make (big or small), and your profit or losses comes out of your bonus - a great way to get your hands dirty in markets and testing your ideas.
    -Work is hard, thought provoking, and interesting. I seem to be more challenged and stimulated by my work than my friendsw who pursued other careers (esp. banking and consulting).
    -Great career opportunities. High ability to try out different roles to get different experiences.
    -I work with really fun, cool people. Really like my co-workers and bosses.
    -Lots of resources and willingness to experiment with good, innovative ideas. A place where you can be very entrepreneurial if you are able to do it.
    -The set of clients and folks that pay attention to our research is impressive - you have the opportunity to influence the understanding of people who matter.
    -People and policies are flexible and reasonable. Easy to go to the gym or a run the middle of the day.
    -Beautiful office, in the middle of basically a forest and wetland.
    -Great pay and benefits, particularly if you stick around for a few years.

    Cons

    -Biggest for me is location in Westport CT rather than NYC.
    -Relatedly, Bridgewater's telecommuting options suck. In certain departments and role, you can't work from home without a (rare) exception for a particular project.
    -Hours aren't great, though not banking bad. I average working about 9-9 M-Th, 9-5 Friday, and 2 hrs on weekends. (totaly of 55-60 hrs). Lots of flexibility though (Usually I can leave early no problem if I want to)
    -For those who may want to switch careers within macro hedge funds, you got to wait a couple years (go to business school) due to non-compete agreement.
    -I love the culture -but its not for anyone. With open feedback, you have to have a thick skin sometimes.
    -Company facing growing pains related to a lot of new hiring over the last 4yrs, including inexperienced people bumping into eachother.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allowing greater telecommuting is an easy way to make employees a lot happier. Be more transparent about pay and benefits so people understand what they are getting into.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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