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The world’s largest hedge fund names new leadership as CEO David McCormick preps Senate run

David McCormick.

Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

  • Bridgewater has named two new bosses after David McCormick stepped down as CEO to mull a Senate run.
  • Nir Bar Dea and Mark Bertolini were named as co-CEOs, effective immediately, the firm announced Monday.
  • Bridgewater, founded by billionaire Ray Dalio in 1975, manages about $150 billion in assets.
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Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund, has named two new bosses after David McCormick, its CEO for nearly five years, stepped down as he considers a Senate run.

Nir Bar Dea, who had been deputy CEO, and Mark Bertolini, co-chair of Bridgewater’s operating board of directors, were named co-CEOs, effective immediately, the firm announced on Monday.

“Through this co-CEO model, we are getting a powerful combination of Nir, a well-respected internal leader who has worked closely with Dave, management, and the CIOs for six years, and Mark, who has enormous experience and is a globally respected and proven CEO,” Bridgewater said in a statement.

Many were expecting the new leadership given McCormick’s public ambition to run for the open US Senate seat in his home state of Pennsylvania. The 56-year-old Republican has not run for public office before. 

Bar Dea, 40, began his career at the fund’s research department in 2015 and climbed his way up through various positions until he was named deputy CEO in February 2021. Bar Dea, an Israeli military veteran, was responsible for fully integrating the fund’s research, portfolio construction, and trading departments. Originally from outside Tel Aviv, he received his MBA from Wharton and his bachelor’s degree in finance from the Interdisciplinary Center at IDC Herzliya.

Bertolini, 65, joined Bridgewater’s board in 2019 as an independent director. He was formerly the chair and CEO of health care firm Aetna for almost a decade. Bertolini stepped down in November 2018 when CVS Health acquired Aetna for $69 billion. He received his MBA from Cornell University and his bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University.

It remains to be seen how the two will steer Bridgewater out of its unimpressive recent performance. Its flagship Pure Alpha macro fund, for instance, gained 8.14% in 2021, according to Bloomberg, lagging behind the S&P 500’s 27% jump last year.

Bridgewater, founded by billionaire Ray Dalio in 1975, manages about $150 billion in assets, easily making it the world’s largest hedge fund. The veteran investor has taken a less active role in recent years, appointing his first co-CEO in 2011 and relinquishing his own co-CEO title in 2017. Dalio remains co-chairman and co-chief investment officer.

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