May 3 (Bloomberg) -- Bill Mahoney, who led global sales and marketing and became an equity partner at Bridgewater Associates LP, the world’s largest hedge fund, before retiring to pursue other interests before his 50th birthday, has died. He was 55.
He died on April 30 at his home in New Canaan, Connecticut, his wife, Alice Bartlett Mahoney, said yesterday in an interview. The cause was pancreatic cancer.
Mahoney worked at Westport, Connecticut-based Bridgewater from 1998 to 2006, following a job at Bankers Trust Australia. Bridgewater, founded in 1975 by Ray Dalio, had about $10 billion in assets under management in 1998, according to an article on Mahoney’s arrival in Investment Management Weekly. By November 2005, the figure had soared to $141 billion. Today, the company manages about $150 billion, according to its website.
Bridgewater was doing better managing money than marketing itself when Mahoney arrived, his wife said. He and his team “brought in so much business that they couldn’t do any more sales,” she said.
Charles Ruffel, managing partner at Kudu Advisors LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, and founder of Asset International Inc., wrote of Mahoney:
“For those of us who knew him -- and so many in the asset management industry did -- it seems inconceivable that the door is not going to open again on Bill, with his ever-present impish grin. He was simply larger than life; he was the most amusing and charming man any of us ever met. He was generous to a fault, and completely without rancor of any kind. Life had treated him impossibly well, he often said, and the ups-and-downs that prove discomfiting to so many of us were simply occasions for him to demonstrate his singular style of sangfroid.”
William Patrick Mahoney was born on Oct. 24, 1957, in Portland, Maine, to William David Mahoney, who had an insurance business, and his wife Ellen.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Boston College and did graduate work in finance at New York University.
He worked in marketing and sales in New York at Lehman Brothers and then at Security Pacific Bank, according to his wife. He then spent seven years with BT Funds Management Ltd., the Sydney, Australia-based global investment management unit of Bankers Trust, rising to executive vice president responsible for capital raising and client relationships in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
He and his wife had their two daughters -- Jo-Jo, 17, and Virginia, 15 -- while in Australia.
Regarding his departure from Bridgewater in 2006, his wife said, “He never called it retirement, but he just wanted to go off and do his own thing, and he knew his family was secure, which was the most important thing.”
In 2007 he formed MBRO Capital LLC, a private investment partnership, investing in real estate and providing venture capital to new businesses, many of them focused on the environment, his wife said.
From 2007 through 2012, Mahoney and his wife donated more than $400,000 to Democratic Party organizations and candidates in federal elections, according to data compiled on the website of the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics.
For his support of Barack Obama, Mahoney received a handwritten letter from the president and the first lady.
“Bill read it and was so touched, as one could imagine,” his wife said.
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