Bridgewater Associates Logo

Bridgewater Associates is a global macro-economic hedge fund that credits its success in the markets to its unique values and unique culture.


You’d think I’d pay enough attention to notice a company that does a ton of college recruiting, has a great work culture for young people, and is right in my “backyard.” Apparently I don’t. I came across a job listing for Bridgewater Associates and was intrigued because they are located in Westport, CT – the town where I went to high school. I figured I must have heard of them at some point and since forgotten about them. My curiosity continued, and I checked out their location on Google Maps. Then I saw this photo tagged for their location, and it hit me. This company is located on the banks of one of my favorite trout streams! So right off the bat, we know that Bridgewater’s people get to work in a beautiful location and have a great way to spend their lunch breaks if they’re interested in piscatorial pursuits. I’m sure that my anecdote has left you wondering what exactly Bridgewater does. They currently manage “approximately $160 billion in global investments for a wide array of institutional clients, including foreign governments and central banks, corporate and public pension funds, university endowments and charitable foundations.” Their goal is to “understand the world,” discovering “timeless and universal truths” about the economy through a culture of “radical truth and radical transparency.”

They’ve beaten global markets for 20 years, so it is apparently working for them. I also found a pretty cool video that illustrates some of the work that Bridgewater is doing…

Bridgewater is all about being different. Given their unique culture and self-identification as an idea meritocracy, they seem to do a lot to encourage the free flow of ideas. They’re not offering your typical finance jobs and are enthusiastic about hiring people from all academic backgrounds, not just Finance or Business majors. This approach extends to the look and feel of the place with the landscape appearing to be less corporate than most others, with a casual dress code and emphasis on work life balance. I am guessing that is part of why they are located in Westport, CT, which while is certainly not a hotspot for social opportunities, it is certainly beautiful and has a good trout stream. New York City is just an hour train ride away and I’ve heard that they have a shuttle bus for employees who live in the city.

Links to Help You Begin Your Research

Seriously considering a job at Bridgewater Associates and want to know more about the area? Leave a comment, and I’ll answer any questions that you may have.


14 Responses to “Bridgewater Associates”

  1. marty says:

    “Who cares! grooling grueling – – you’re a petty idiot. Certainly only a fool would call someone out on this blog about spelling. I wasn’t an English major nor do I care! Harvard UnderGrad 2002, Stanford Grad 2006′

    So sad…A Harvard and Stanford grad and unable to spell at a grade school level.
    “…you’re a petty idiot” – Well, sure seems like you have the outsized ego this company prizes.
    “…nor do I care!” – Proper speech and grammar used to be one of the signs of an educated person and taken for granted – now apparently, a fancy car, and big salary are enough.

    This company sounds like it’s full of adolescents who’ve never grown up, their egos even more inflated by isolation and way too much money.

  2. Dk says:

    I’m really interested at working for BW because of the free lunches. Do they look down on those of us carrying a few extra lb’s?

  3. [...] you have to buy into the system. And it’s clearly not for everyone. Check out the lengthycomment thread about Bridgewater at the jobs site One Day One Job. Among the posts from anonymous former workers: [...]

  4. Dave says:

    I don’t work for this company, but I know of it. A friend of mine, who is a recruiter in Fairfield County, told me that he often sets up Bridgewater information interviews for job candidates that he finds obnoxious and full of themselves and that he knows deep down are not a good fit for the company. I think he just wants to see them taken down a peg or two when thy epiphany comes that they are not as good as they think they are. Perhaps going on these interviews and being told you aren’t good Bridgewater material is a better and quicker life lesson than actually getting a job there and being told the same thing three years later.

  5. [...] you have to buy into the system. And it’s clearly not for everyone. Check out the lengthycomment thread about Bridgewater at the jobs site One Day One Job. Among the posts from anonymous former workers: [...]

  6. Jerry Weinstein says:

    I had interviews with them two weeks ago, and can confirm the negative impressions expressed by others on this forum. For full disclosure, I did not get the offer. If I got one, I would definitely think thrice before accepting.

    On to the description of my experience. I had two interviews with them, all of which took place in a hotel. The first was a personality assessment. The interview was conducted by a young girl (I’d say 27-28 years old) who mostly asked banal questions you would get from an HR rep at a Wall Street firm (what challenges you faced, etc…). Overall, she did not seem to be interested or understand where I was coming from (a white American girl trying to understand a guy who waw born in a country she probably does not know even know existed). The only time she got a little excited is when she asked me about my weaknesses.

    The second interview was a group interview. There were five people besides myself. We discussed a random topic for an hour. Even though the interviewer said this was not supposed to be a debate, the dynamics inevitably turned competitive and a couple of people were trying to monopolize the conversation, even as their knowledge of the subject was lacking and arguments were weak (by chance, I actually knew something about the topic so it was easier to back up my claims).

    When the group was done, I was told to hang around “in case I would be required to do another interview” and to watch my email. Half an hour or forty minutes later, I did get an email from the HR saying that I am invited for another interview and that I should hang around more (At this point, we were behind schedule by quite a while.) Eventually, some people show up, lead me to a room, give me a laptop with an open excel file and tell me to solve a problem. When I asked what was going on, they told me that THEY DECIDED that I should also be tested for fit with another role for which I did not even see a job description. Nobody thought about asking me if I wanted to apply for another role, of course. But whatever. I’ll do it.

    The last interview – supposedly designed to test my quantitative skills – was remarkable in that my interviewers had likely recently graduated from college (or at most had an MBA; they definitely were not phd quants) while I am about to finish my phd and taught finance to MBAs at Wharton.

    The final outcome: BW told me a week later that the reason for the third interview was that they decided I was not a good fit for the role I had originally applied for and that they wanted me to interview for another role, for which I was not a good fit either because, based on the opinions of the interviewers in the third interview, my analytical and quantitative skills were not good enough.

    My overall impression: BW interviews a lot of people, yet it hires very few. This is designed to create an impression that they are extremely selective and elitist while in reality they are already too big and are not looking to expand. They hire college grads to do menial/admin/support work (that is why it does not matter whether they have any quant/ finance/econ skills or not). It is possible that freshly minted MBAs without a lot of experience won’t fair too much better in terms of the work quality. They hire experienced people in two cases: a) when they need to fill real jobs that open up when other experienced people leave and b) when in their mass recruiting efforts they accidentally stumble on a goldmine (I am not sure what their definition is here). If neither criterion is met, and you are invited to interview, you will likely end up volunteering your time for BW’s marketing campaign.

  7. Steven says:

    Can someone talk about how it is like in the IT departments? The NOC? The systems engineering?

  8. Run Don't Walk says:

    Wow…I have never spent so much time on a blog. Most of the information here has been very insightful.
    Over the years I have been recruited for admin positions at BW by every single staffing firm in Fairfield County. To me this is a red flag that says they’re desperate to fill admin positions but have no interest in employee retention.
    I have great experience supporting C level and Global Heads, have trading floor experience, and have worked under insane pressure. I can handle fast pace, multiple projects, deadlines, and making decisions on the fly. I thrive on that energy. What I can’t handle is criticizing and analyzing the living crap out of every godforsaken thing to the point that it loses value and becomes a farce. It got to the point that I had to put a note on my résumé & online profile that said “please do not contact me about Bridgewater”. Another poster said anyone who lives in the area knows to avoid bridgewater. I would say do some thorough research and decide whether this type of culture sounds appealing to you before even entertaining the idea of an interview. Sometimes I think about giving it a shot (which lead me to this page, which I have enjoyed reading) and I am going to continue to decline the many many calls and emails I receive.

  9. Jere says:

    The interview I had there, a few weeks ago, didn’t make sense. The 20-somethings interviewing me didn’t want to discuss my resume or my web experience. At one point they seemed amused that I was getting a little agitated with them. Maybe that is what they are supposed to be doing. I don’t know. A truly frustrating experience. For a company that is all about being perfect, I can’t understand why they continue to use two people who no longer work there in the Culture Video section on their fancy website that is selling a lifestyle. (I believe their names are Aidan and Mathew.) It makes me think someone is shirking his/her duties. Whoever is in charge of Bridgewater’s website is doing a poor job. But yet, I am not Bridgewater material.

  10. Xoe says:

    I had an interview with BW last week for an administrative assistant position. I didn’t get an offer. I have to say, it wasn’t as weird as I had anticipated, but it was definitely different. I was excited for the interview because of all the mixed reviews I read about the company and the interviews. Even the recruiter had warned me about how much the interviewers love honesty, and what not. I read the “Principles” document (It has some good life lessons, but most of it is just repetitive…It would have a much more powerful impact if it were short and to the point.) I watched the cultures videos and did some research.

    When I got there, the receptionist gave me a name tag and they were all very nice. There were security guards on every floor (maybe even every corner). It was a group interview with three other candidates. Two people interviewed us; they told us we were going to be recorded. They first asked us about ourselves, and then gave us two case studies to work on–one as a group, and then the other individually. They intentionally made the case studies vague, so that we would ask questions. I found that ridiculous, because if we’re working as a group, with people we don’t know, it’s hard enough to get to agree on one thing. After each case study, they bombarded us with questions. “Why this, why that, why didn’t you ask this question, why did you think that, why did you think it was okay to think that, why did you assume, why, why, WHY.” It’s very easy to get defensive when this is going on. And then they nitpick on every word you say…Time does go by fast, thankfully. After the case studies, they talk about culture, and ask you what you think. I was the only candidate who actually read, and brought up Ray Dalio’s “Principles”(The interviewers didn’t seem impressed, and they didn’t ask much about it. They should’ve been, I pulled my hair out reading that thing lol) …Then they asked about our weaknesses, and they didn’t want superficial weaknesses that every interview wants to hear. I applaud them for that.

    The end of the interview was just confusing. The interviewers stepped out and told us somebody would escort us to the bathroom. Then when we got back to the room, we were left in the room alone for a good 20 mins. It’s probably my paranoia with all the recording and security guards, but I felt watched the whole time. One of the interviewers came back into the room and told three of us that recruiters would contact us, and told one to stay behind so she could meet with somebody else. It was odd, the one person who was asked to stay had disclosed deeply personal information as her weakness, I’m not even sure if it was appropriate for a job interview, but I guess that’s what BW wants to hear. The strangest thing about the place is that there is “no water cooler talk.” They told us that if, for instance, two people are talking about a third person who isn’t present, they have to tell the third person (even via email) that they had talked about him, about whatever. That can’t be healthy…Bright side: I survived this interview without losing my cool, I think can survive anything.

  11. Sandeep says:

    Hi,

    This is Sandeep from India. I just had the opportunity to go through BW’s “About You Survey Center”. I just wanted to know how much time does it take BW to announce the result of Briggs Myers test.

    It’ll be of great help if someone could share their experiences/thoughts on the same.

    Thanks,
    Sandeep

  12. Skeptic says:

    Does anyone have anything endearing to say about Bridgewater? Im interested in the research department, in particular. People seem to abhor the culture here.

    Is the only value in the paycheck you receive?

    Do you not have any exit opportunities?

    What about the technical knowledge in the company? Is it a good place to learn?

  13. Gonzo Demarcho says:

    Unless you cannot break into investment management at a decent firm then Bridgewater could offer a temporary solution until you do find an alternative firm after gaining some experience. Otherwise, do not under any circumstance work here. I made a vow to intervene when I know of someone is considering Bridgewater to warn them like I wished someone had warned me. This is holds especially true to you recent college graduates who have no concept of working for someone else so may be lured into the culture. DON’T. Just don’t. Save yourself your time and sanity this place is the worst.

  14. Shaotzu says:

    Be careful, they enforce the non-compete really strictly, even for IT and Infrastructure people. You don’t want to become unemployable pretty much in any serious financial company for a few years after touching Bridgewater!

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