Dalio Defends Co-CIO Jensen Over Report of Work RelationshipBy and
Dalio says he wouldn’t tolerate behavior reported in WSJ
Firm last year hired independent lawyer to review policies
Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates, defended top executive Greg Jensen from allegations of a personal relationship with a female employee, saying he’s a “man of high character.”
Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund, paid a more than $1 million settlement to a woman who had a relationship with Jensen, the firm’s co-chief investment officer, the Journal reported earlier Tuesday. After agreeing to the settlement, the employee was escorted from her desk, the newspaper said.
Dalio said in a statement issued Tuesday that “I would not have tolerated the pattern of behavior inaccurately described by the Wall Street Journal.”
Separately, in a letter to clients, Bridgewater said that it’s had a “handful” of mediated settlements and no legal judgments against it since its founding. The hedge fund also said last year it hired former deputy attorney general Jamie Gorelick of WilmerHale to independently evaluate Bridgewater’s policies and procedures.
Dalio was personally involved in approving the settlement and in mediating the matter, which was brought to the firm’s attention about three years ago, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter that the newspaper didn’t identify. Shortly after the first woman came forward, another woman accused Jensen of groping her, the report said.
Jensen, 43, was co-chief executive officer at the time. The woman involved in the settlement had a consensual relationship with him, the Journal said. The second woman remained at the firm after making her claim but has since also left.
In a tweet posted on Tuesday morning, Dalio, 68, wrote: “A good principle is ‘Don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers.”’
Colleen Schwartz, a spokeswoman for the paper, said the Journal stands by its reporting.
Jensen said in a statement to the newspaper: “The Wall Street Journal’s accusations of my behavior are inaccurate and salacious. They are hurtful to my family and my reputation with those who don’t know me, so I am deeply disappointed with their sense of responsibility.”
WilmerHale, the law firm Bridgewater hired last year, said the hedge fund’s policies with regard to workplace disputes are “robust” and comply with "legal requirements and principles of fundamental fairness," according to the Bridgewater investor letter signed by Co-CEOs David McCormick and Eileen Murray.
In the investor letter, Bridgewater copied emails sent to the Journal from 12 employees who defended Jensen’s character.
Attempts by Bloomberg News to reach Jensen on Tuesday were unsuccessful. A message was left at his home, and a call to his office was referred to the firm’s public relations staff.
The female employee who got the settlement was represented by attorney Gloria Allred, the Journal said. Allred declined to comment when reached by Bloomberg News.
Jensen gave up the co-CEO title in early 2016. He now shares the CIO post with Dalio and Bob Prince.
Dalio runs Westport, Connecticut-based Bridgewater according to about 200 principles -- everything from "Don’t try to please everyone” to “Don’t bet too much on anything.” He promotes “radical transparency,” encouraging employees to critique each other in meetings, which are taped and archived. He published a book of the principles in September.
Bridgewater’s Pure Alpha hedge fund rose 3 percent in October, recouping losses this year. The fund has now gained 1.7 percent through the first 10 months of this year. The firm manages about $160 billion.
— With assistance by Katia Porzecanski