Dalio defends 'unusual culture' at Bridgewater

Ray Dalio
David A. Grogan | CNBC

Ray Dalio's Bridgewater Associates has faced a bevy of questions about its high-pressure corporate culture.

Dalio admitted Tuesday that it's not for everybody.

"This is an unusual culture. Because we sort of kept it behind the scenes, it's largely misunderstood," the head of the $150 billion hedge fund said at the Delivering Alpha conference in New York presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor.

"Some people absolutely hate it and some people can never work someplace else," he added.

In July, a New York Times profile of the firm quoted a source as saying Bridgewater is a "cauldron of fear and intimidation."

For his part, Dalio often uses the term "radical transparency," and he repeated that at the conference.

He said the firm follows "an idea of meritocracy," with "meaningful work, meaningful relationships through radical truth and radical transparency."

"Can we be totally truthful with each other, like, 'I don't think you're good at that or you might be wrong or you might have made some mistakes?'" Dalio added.