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Bridgewater Names Deputy CEO in Leadership Expansion

CEO David McCormick announced promotions and the creation of four executive and business committees to help run the world’s largest hedge fund.

Bridgewater Associates chief executive David McCormick has announced a series of changes to the hedge fund firm’s management and operating structure, including the appointment of a new deputy CEO.

The announcement was sent to Bridgewater employees last week and published on LinkedIn Friday. The personnel changes included the promotion of Nir Bar Dea, co-head of what Bridgewater calls its investment engine, to the newly created role of deputy CEO. Bar Dea was the “key architect of the evolution” in the investment engine over the last five years, McCormick said.

Kevin Brennan, head of investment research analytics, will succeed Bar Dea as co-head of the investment engine, joining Osman Nalbantoglu in that role, according to the announcement.

McCormick also announced the appointment of Gerry Pasciucco, who has spent the last five years as a strategic and financial advisor to Bridgewater, to the newly created role of head of finance and strategy.

Meanwhile, chief operating officer Brian Kreiter will leave the firm “in the coming months” to start his own business, McCormick said.

Both Pasciucco and Bar Dea will serve as part of Bridgewater’s new executive committee, which will replace the existing management company. Other members include chief investment officers Bob Prince and Greg Jensen, chief commercial officer Kyle Delaney, and chief legal officer Tracey Yurko. McCormick expects to announce a seventh member soon, according to the statement.

“I am evolving what we previously referred to as our management committee to better reflect our next generation of leaders and to knit the partnership into the overall fabric of the company,” McCormick said in the announcement. “This group will help me oversee and run the company.”

In addition to the revamped management committee, McCormick announced the creation of three business committees that he said will “cover all responsibilities critical to [Bridgewater’s] success.” These will include an investment committee, chaired by Nalbantoglu; a commercial and business strategy committee, chaired by Delaney, Karen Karniol-Tambour, and Pasciucco; and an operating committee, initially chaired by Bar Dea and Jensen.

Bridgewater founder, co-chairman, and co-CIO Ray Dalio will “stay deeply involved in our investment team as both an idea generator and mentor,” and will also serve as the tie-breaking vote on the investment committee, McCormick said. 

“Since assuming the CEO role, I have stared hard at our structure and have been iterating on a design with others on the management team that will help us continue to develop as an organization,” McCormick said. “There is much about our processes and systems that is great but there are areas that need to improve and evolve.”

[II Deep Dive: Bridgewater Is Having a Bad Year. David McCormick Has a Plan.]

McCormick touched on some areas for improvement in a series of interviews with Institutional Investor last summer. The CEO told II that his plans included whittling down the amount of Bridgewater clients — which numbered to around 300 at the time — to focus on “deeper,” custom relationships, while simultaneously developing a “much more robust distribution network that will allow us to access investors that we would not typically serve.”

McCormick’s strategy also included continued investment in client-facing technology, like Bridgewater’s risk budgeting tool, or RBT.

Speaking about the new leadership changes on LinkedIn, the Bridgewater CEO said the new business committees will provide “proper forums for cross-collaboration as well as appropriate debate across key areas of our business.”

“While I am committed to making further changes over time, these immediate improvements will help us to continue to address challenges and maximize success, now and into the future,” McCormick said.

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