Ray Dalio’s Response to ‘The Fund,’ a New Book That Dissects Bridgewater Associates
The world’s largest hedge fund and its founder blasted the book, which got rave reviews
A New York Times review of “The Fund,” a book by Rob Copeland released Tuesday about Bridgewater Associates and the hedge fund’s founder, Ray Dalio, called it “a terrific dagger…packed with cringey detail, just long enough to efficiently disembowel its subject.”
Excerpts of the book — which detail James Comey’s bizarre stint at the firm before leading the FBI, the religious “Principles” that governed the company, and question how much edge the fund really has — were popular reads before it hit shelves. And journalists and others have praised the book online.
Dalio and Bridgewater, which threatened legal action against Copeland and his publisher before the book came out, blasted it Tuesday. In a LinkedIn post, Dalio said the book is “another one of those sensational and inaccurate tabloid books written to sell books to people who like gossip. The only thing that’s different about this one is that it’s about me and Bridgewater.”
The billionaire went on to say that Copeland applied for a job at Bridgewater and was rejected before he went on to become a reporter who “made a career of writing distorted stories about me and Bridgewater.” Dalio has said similar things in the past about Copeland and his unfavorable reporting about the founder and the firm. Copeland is an award-winning investigative journalist for The New York Times, who previously spent 10 years covering hedge funds for The Wall Street Journal and worked at Institutional Investor.
Dalio stepped in and out of the CEO role at Bridgewater until 2020, when David McCormick become its lone chief executive. In October last year, Dalio finally gave up his co-CIO role and voting rights as part of a succession plan.
Bridgewater said in a statement it was disappointed by the book, which it characterized as misleading. It highlighted that out of more than 1,200 employees, one-third have worked there for a decade or longer and that nearly 70 percent of clients have almost invested with it for at least that long.
“We feel compelled to state, unequivocally, that the overall narrative in this book is ridiculous and couldn’t be any further from the truth. The exaggerated depiction attempts to take aim at who we are by painting a distorted and inaccurate picture through a series of strung-together stories. The result is a false and misleading portrayal of our company, culture, and community,” Bridgewater said.
In an email to Bridgewater employees (which the hedge fund also shared online) current CEO Nir Bar Dea said he was torn about what to say about the book.
“I think going point by point on it would be a big distraction and feed more of what the author wants — which is to use our platform and credibility to sell books,” Bar Dea said.
Instead, the chief executive lionized employees for their openness and willingness to improve in the name of investors and, if they decide to read the book, reach out to him and other leadership if they have questions.
Amazon Studios has reportedly already bought the rights to “The Fund,” hired a writer and begun casting for a series based on the book. If it gets made, it doesn’t sound like Dalio will be watching.
“The book won’t matter to people who know Bridgewater and me well, and they are the people who matter most to me,” Dalio said on LinkedIn. “I suggest that you take this book for what it is and not get distracted by it, but do what you like with it. From this point on, I’m not going to give it more attention.”