In addition to being very bad prose, The Principles may leave something else to be desired: The fund apparently suffers from a 30 percent turnover rate.
Yesterday, Courtney Comstock of Business Insider reported another bizarre revelation: Bridgewater Capital seems to be requesting dental records from its prospective employs.
If you're wondering what kind of information a prospective employer might get from your dental records, so was Comstock.
So she consulted the American Dental association's guide to dental records.
Here's a brief sampling of what she found:
- conversations about the nature of any proposed treatment, the potential benefits and risks associated with that treatment, any alternatives to the treatment proposed, and the potential risks and benefits of alternative treatment, including no treatment
- diagnostic records, including charts and study models
- medication prescriptions, including types, dose, amount, directions for use and number of refills
- mold and shade of teeth used in bridgework and dentures and shade of synthetics and plastics
- patient noncompliance and missed appointment notes
Another Business Insider article on Bridgewater mentions a series of legal complaints against the fund. The article observes:
"And there's another alarming detail about working at the firm. The management principles seem so unorthodox (former employees call them "demoralizing" because they're meant to strip you of your ego by constantly criticizing what's wrong with you in front of everyone else—talking behind employees' backs is not allowed) that some have even questioned whether or not they're legal."
Another article, released yesterday and co-authored by Michelle Celarier and Lawrence Delevingne for Absolute Return + Alpha, lists some other rather eccentric practices at the firm.
For example: Asking prospective employees about their views on abortion and about the existence of god during job interviews.
Moreover, Absolute Return + Alpha seems to further question the toll such practices take on employees: "'A turnover rate of 30% is highly unusual for large hedge fund firms like Bridgewater,' says Adam Herz, president of Hunter Advisors, an executive search firm specializing in alternatives. 'Most other large managers only see employee turnover in the neighborhood of 10% of people leaving in the first year or two.”
What's the firm's defense against such charges?
According to Celarier and Delevingne, Bridgewater's response is to point to the scoreboard: "Bridgewater says that asking former employees of a company what the place is like is a bit like asking divorcees what their spouse is like. The firm suggests people judge for themselves by looking at its 36-year track record—at how much it has gotten done and how creative it has been."
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