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Bridgewater to lay off employees in 'renovation'

Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest hedge fund by assets, has announced a firm-wide "renovation" that will include employee layoffs, according to someone familiar with the matter.

In a letter to clients, officials at the $150 billion-asset company said it was "digging into the areas of inefficiency to improve them" as part of a "renovation to improve efficiencies at Bridgewater." That process will involve "significant changes to people, processes, and technologies," it added. At a town hall meeting earlier Thursday, Bridgewater executives warned that those changes would include layoffs. Business Insider published the letter, and reported on the plans, at midday Thursday.

A Bridgewater spokeswoman couldn't comment on the scope of the planned layoffs at the 1,700-person company, which has grown from a staff of just 150 in 2003. According to the letter, however, most of the planned renovation would occur outside the company's investments division.

This has been a mixed year for Bridgewater, which is in the midst of a broader leadership transition. One of the Westport, Connecticut firm's flagship funds is down more than 9 percent, and the other is up 13 percent through Sept. 9, according to someone familiar with the results. A third fund, established last year to blend the flagship funds' strategies into a single vehicle, this person has added, is flat through that same time period.

Despite that, Bridgewater has taken in $22.5 billion in new client investments since 2015. Asked about those inflows at CNBC and Institutional Investors' annual Delivering Alpha conference on Tuesday, Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio noted that in such volatile markets, his goal was to stay six months or even just six days ahead of events. "The market environment will always be exciting," he said. "The question is whether you're adding value or not — most importantly, whether we're going to add value in a bad time."


Correction: This story was revised to correct that Business Insider's story was published Thursday.