Rightly or wrongly, Ray Dalio's Bridgewater Associates does not have a reputation as an easy place to work.
Run according to the famous Principles of founder Ray Dalio, Bridgewater is all about 'radical truth and radical transparency.' 'We require people to be extremely open, air disagreements, test each other’s logic, and view discovering mistakes and weaknesses as a good thing that leads to improvement and innovation,' says the fund's website.
In practice, radical transparency means Bridgewater employees bring iPads to every meeting and rate each other in real time across 100 attributes on a scale of 1-10. Not everyone likes being rated likes this: historic estimates suggested that a third of Bridgewater's employees left within two years because they couldn't get with the culture. In Bridgewater's defence, this is probably less than most investment banks, and employees who stay apparently like the perpetual scrutiny and find it difficult to get on elsewhere.
So much is known about Bridgewater. The real question, then, is how much Dalio pays. Bridgewater is a massive fund with around $140bn in assets under management and Dalio himself was estimated to earn $2bn in 2018. So how much does Dalio pay his acolytes? Well, not nearly so much.
The chart below shows a spectrum of Bridgewater salary points taken from the H1B Visa database. The salaries shown refer to the H1B Visa holders Bridgewater has hired in 2019 and don't include bonus allocations. They're representative to the extent that H1B Visa holders are representative of Bridgewater's Connecticut staff, and seem (predictably) to be skewed towards mostly junior ('associate') and technology roles at the fund.
The upshot is that if you're a junior, Bridgewater doesn't seem to pay that well in salaries alone. $100k or less is fairly standard for an associate. $133k seems standard for a 'senior management associate.' Software engineers paid more than investment engineers, but portfolio strategists are paid more than the rest.
The curiously well-paid job on the list is clearly 'mission manager', which pays $185k. It's not clear what this refers to, but the supposition is that it's related to Dalio's Principles and that the comparatively high salary reflects just how important this broader mission is to the fund.
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