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Ray Dalio sets out to clarify Bridgewater Capital's 'unusual' management culture

Ray Dalio
David A. Grogan | CNBC

Bridgewater Associates Chairman and CEO Ray Dalio sought to clarify the culture at his hedge fund — which he has called "unusual" and "kooky" — following media reports that suggested the firm fostered "fear and intimidation."

In a lengthy interview with Business Insider, Dalio aimed to clarify his firm's effort to create an "idea meritocracy." That endeavor has led Bridgewater to create a system in which employees rate one another's credibility on a number of dimensions, and everyone can see the ratings.

The data from these assessments are crunched to create a "believability" rating. Votes by employees with higher believabilty ratings are given greater weight in decision-making. That, Dalio told Business Insider, is how a company can achieve an idea meritocracy underpinned by "radical truth" and "radical transparency."

Dalio told the publication this is preferable to "one man, one vote," in which all votes are considered equal, and voting by those in power.

"I'm scared of one man, one vote because it suggests that everybody has an equal ability at making decisions, and I think that's dangerous. I'm also scared of people with power making the decision," he told Business Insider.

In July, The New York Times reported on a employee complaint with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities that the firm was like a "cauldron of fear and intimidation." The employee alleged that Bridgewater's culture initially prevented him from reporting sexual harassment by a superior.

The National Labor Relations Board said Bridgewater had interfered with employees' rights through its use of confidentiality agreements, the Times reported.

Dalio cited the Times' reporting and a more recent Wall Street Journal article in his call last week for an independent body to monitor media outlets.

Read the full interview here.