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Bridgewater Associates

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Bridgewater Associates

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Bridgewater Associates Employee Reviews about "bridgewater"

Updated Jul 7, 2021

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Found 65 of over 506 reviews

4.1
82%
Recommend to a Friend
94%
Approve of CEO
Bridgewater Associates CEO David McCormick
David McCormick
45 Ratings
Pros
  • "You're surrounded by lots of smart people(in 70 reviews)

  • "Bridgewater really takes care of its people(in 39 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Nobody wants to hire ex-Bridgewater people because of the lack of any real useful skills and non-compete problems(in 39 reviews)

  • "company doesnt has a good work life balance(in 37 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

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    Reviews about "bridgewater"

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    1. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      The culture is everything

      Jan 29, 2021 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Bridgewater really takes care of its people. The way the firm handled COVID was super impressive and way better executed than anything our government did. If you vibe with the culture of direct, honest feedback and intellectual rigor, you might find it hard to work anywhere else. It's a special social contract that makes you realize how petty and unfair other people in the outside world can be.

      Cons

      The work culture still very much glorifies working long hours. Work life balance in some specific areas of the company just does not exist.

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    2. 4.0
      Former Contractor, more than 1 year

      Great place to work but it’s not for everyone

      May 4, 2021 - Systems Operations/L1 Monitoring in Westport, CT
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      1. Free lunch and snacks. 2. I loved the team I worked with. 3. Great pop-ups!! 4. You have the ability to call out management on any short comings. 5. Contract/employment can end at any moment. Bridgewater can be an unforgiving place. 6. A place where you will learn how the “machine” works.

      Cons

      1. It can be highly stressful at times. 2. You must be able to take constructive criticism. 3. Sometimes security gets in the way of productivity. 4. You may be required to work evenings or weekends.

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    3. 4.0
      Former Employee

      Great experience for the future

      Jul 7, 2021 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Bridgewater has extremely high standards in the best way. It doesn’t matter how long you work there you will come out a better person and better employee.

      Cons

      The extremely high standards can be overwhelming at times but if you know how to work hard and use the feedback to your advantage you’ll be fine.

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    4. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Smart people - Great Pay - Good training and a lot of other bad things

      Aug 13, 2020 - Anonymous Employee in Westport, CT
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Pays very good with little or no experience. Great training. A lot of opportunities to bond with colleagues. Most of the people are exceptional in the investment engine. Culture is solid, transparency is real and rewarding. You always know where you stand. So the law of no surprise is strictly adhered to.

      Cons

      Work is bad, boring, and outdated. For at least for first 3-4 years, the projects are quite bad. You end up losing your skills and forgetting everything you know. The longer you stay, the more irrelevant you become for the rest of the world. That's not really a problem because if you stay longer they keep making you sign stricter and stricter non-compete agreements. They are so secretive and paranoid about everything. It results in junior employees getting no exposure to the investment process. It also restricts freedom and flexibility. It's sad to see some really smart people doing mundane tasks with crappy tools and technologies, wasting time-fighting the bureaucracy and slow-moving tech. The culture makes the place very verbal and argumentative. That means if you're a Chinese Phd student with not very fluent English, you won't be able to argue back to make your point clear and you will be marked as a bad communicator. The place is very white top to bottom. That is very rare these days for math and tech-driven places. (The purpose of this comment is to help you steer away if you don't love arguing. There is no discrimination or preferential treatment. Everyone is treated equally.) Employee turnover is very high. They use culture as an excuse to justify the turnover. But, that mostly comes from an easy interview process with no real testing of skills and only culture testing. For more stats, around 20 people joined on the same day as me and we all went through the same training program. Only 2 still work there. You already know this before you join. But the struggle is real when you're actually fired. Nobody wants to hire ex-Bridgewater people because of the lack of any real useful skills and non-compete problems. You may run into more logistical problems because you moved to Connecticut, visa status, school changes for children, and opportunity cost. I know people who rejected four, five job offers to come here and hate every single day at work.

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      17 people found this review helpful
    5. 4.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Amazing Company if you share their values

      Jan 29, 2016 - Administrative Assistant 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Ray's Principles aligned really well with the way I think, and I still believe in operating the way that I did while at Bridgewater. I was surrounded by brilliant people who constantly challenged my thinking down to the core of who I was, and helped to shape me and improve it. The perks and benefits were fantastic from health insurance coverage to lunch and snack provided with fully stocked kitchens.

      Cons

      There was a great deal of expectation around acting like an owner for your role, yet it felt like they didn't treat you like an owner. There was also a heavy emphasis on believability. The concept makes sense, where your opinion on something is taken into account only as much as you are a beliveable and reliable subject matter expert. For instance, I was an admin, so my believability on many things was fairly low compared to others higher up. However, I came from a fairly diverse background where I was previously a project manager and had insight that others may not have had necessarily. My thoughts and opinions were typically dismiss due to my believability which really discredits the idea meritocracy that they preach. I think it is something that is more recent to the company since they have grown so much and have so much turnover. There's also no work/life balance. I worked an average of 10-12 hours per day, sometimes 14-16. Seems to be the trend there.

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      9 people found this review helpful
    6. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      The challenge of a lifetime

      Nov 10, 2017 - Anonymous Employee in Westport, CT
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The culture of transparency minimizes politics and enables the power of collective knowledge. The community is filled with incredible people who are as caring as they are smart. The organization sets the tone of excellence in everything from performance expectations to health benefits to constant evolution. If you’re up for the most rigorous professional and personal growth you might be able to experience in your lifetime (along with the difficult work that takes), consider Bridgewater. I’ve never felt so challenged and so cared for at the same time and feel like I would struggle in any other environment after having had the privilege of working here.

      Cons

      The culture is challenging for many; your work and mistakes are on display so everyone can learn and weigh in. If you thrive in recognition-focused environments, this isn’t for you. It’s also a tough environment for quick delivery. Decisions can take a long time and those who are delivery driven can struggle with the viscosity. Career paths are less clear than in most organizations which gives you flexibility and ambiguity together (more diligence is needed to be sure career progression steps make sense). Lastly, the environment offers a lot of room for entrepreneurship which leads to great things but often lacks in structure which causes a reliance on key people and tribal knowledge.

      3 people found this review helpful
    7. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      just terrible place to work

      Sep 12, 2014 - Portfolio Associate in New York, NY
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Good food, clever coworkers. Word word word just to fill in the necessary amount.

      Cons

      To all the people considering working here, start with one thing: this is a leveraged bond fund. Not much there right now. They get all their returns from leveraged bonds and tips. They are terrible with stock and borderline with currency. Also, did you notice that all the positive responses sound the same. That might be because one or two people are writing them. Even if its 15, do you want to sound like that? Here is the bottom line: as an investment, portfolio, or management associated you are going to range between 120 and 150k. For that price, you will sign a stifling non-compete, learn nothing about how anyone but bridgewater invests, and deal with humiliating terrible stuff all day long. Not to mention they are managing 130 Billion on Excel. In many cases you actually have to open different versions of excel for different terribly constructed workbooks. DO NOT work here. It is borderline a career killer and you will not get any slice of the pie. Even the people on the signals team, who have to sign LIFETIME non-competes, do not break 300k. That will hardly cover your lawyer when you attempt to leave. They expect you to come and quit. You are not in it for the long haul. You will not make big money here. In fact, they pay well below the industry standard. Do not work here

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      72 people found this review helpful
    8. 2.0
      Former Employee

      Very bright, not so practical experiment

      Jun 3, 2016 - Senior Management Associate in Westport, CT
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great pay, much higher than anywhere else for same role. Very bright and accomplished people around me. Ambitious plans. Nice food, nice locations. I really loved living in Westport, but it's not to everyone's taste (or budget).

      Cons

      The culture is definitely a downer for the vast majority of people. The idea is for everyone to help each other improve, which sounds great in principle. Sadly, in practice, every diagnosis meeting starts with the premise, "Maybe you're not the right person for this role or this company", and it becomes very hard to be objective and open about weaknesses when your livelihood is on the line. (The location makes this worse, since many people move to work at Bridgewater and are isolated from their home networks and alternative jobs. The long non-compete and the insular culture exacerbate this.) Culture is dominated by bright people with limited experience, leading to a lot of "good ideas" that are actually just repeating old mistakes made elsewhere. The same bright people are encouraged to be somewhat deaf to new ideas from others. I found myself acting the same way, honestly; it was very hard for me to hold my independent point of view in the middle of that culture.

      38 people found this review helpful
    9. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      I've loved my experience at BW (but realize it's not for everyone)

      Nov 27, 2013 - Management Associate 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      (I've been at Bridgewater 5+ years) - challenging environment that promotes rapid personal development: i've grown tremendously since working here in ways that have impacted both my professional and personal life, if i got nothing more than that from my experience working here, it would have been worth it. - caliber of people: have had the opportunity to work with extremely bright, conceptual individuals that have fascinating backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. - community/meaningful relationships: the community is very tight knit and i've developed some very strong relationships and wonderful relationships during my time here. There are many BW ppl - both current and former employees- that are a significant part of my/my husband's life.

      Cons

      - can be difficult to maintain work/life balance: it's a demanding environment and the hours can be long (but in my experience definitely not as long/bad compared to ibanking or other wall street options) - nature of environment/challenges can be stressful: I am naturally a high anxiety person, so i've had my bouts of struggles with stress and anxiety while working here. It is intellectually demanding and the culture, while i love and appreciate it, can be difficult at times and i have to deliberately put in place mechanisms for myself to ensure i'm maintaining perspective and balancing emotions. - culture is not for everyone: you certain have to have a certain value set to work here, and i recognize and appreciate it's not for everyone. I've met fantastic people who just don't click with the culture.

      3 people found this review helpful
    10. 5.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      Incredible first-job experience!

      Feb 24, 2017 - Management Associate in Westport, CT
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Overall, I feel very grateful that Bridgewater was my first job out of college. I had unparalleled exposure to senior management, was able to take on as much responsibility as I could handle, and I learned more about management and running a company than I realized until I went and founded my own company. At the time, I wasn't always sure how relevant all The Principles and The Culture was to quality management. Now, that I am out of my own I am much better able to navigate ambiguity and complicated decisions because I have a universal framework I can turn to to help me sort things out. The practical application is even clearer to me now, then it was then. Business insider has a great article talking to the CIO Bob Prince that's worth reading if you want to better understand the relationship between the culture and business outcomes. Beyond a ton of learning, the Bridgewater community is what I cherish most about my 5-years there. The culture of openness and honesty lends itself to extremely deep and meaningful relationships. When I left, it was the people that I was the most sad to leave but it's the people that I have stayed in touch with and make me still feel connected to Bridgewater. And I don't just mean who you would traditionally call my peers, I still keep in touch with my first managers who are almost twice my age. It is these unexpected friendships, and the perspectives they bring to my life, that I really treasure.

      Cons

      Bridgewater is an extremely intense environment and is not for the faint of heart. It can be exhausting, at a day-to-day level, to be part of a company that focuses so much on the process of how to achieve a goal and how to improve. If you don't step back to see the larger picture, it can feel like you are never good enough even though that's not the case - just because you can improve doesn't mean that you aren't doing great. The focus on constant improvement can be draining vs just being satisfied with how things are.

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      22 people found this review helpful
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