A high-ranking executive at Bridgewater Associates reportedly lost his job as the result of a romantic relationship with a coworker.
According to a Bloomberg report based on input from “people with knowledge of the
matter,” Bob Elliott, head of Bridgewater’s foreign-exchange research and a 13-year veteran at the Westport-based hedge fund, was involved in a relationship with a female colleague who worked in another department within the company. Bloomberg’s anonymous sources insisted that “office romances are relatively common at the firm,” but employees need to disclose any potential conflicts of interest related to such liaisons. Elliott reportedly told his superiors about the relationship and was fired in December, while the woman – who had been at Bridgewater for three years and not publicly identified – was also fired.
Bridgewater’s founder Ray Dalio repeatedly cited “radical transparency” as being among the firm’s core principles, but the company declined requests to comment on the story. Elliott’s LinkedIn page offered a not-subtle jab at his former employer, noting, “After 13 years at Bridgewater, looking for new challenge in a different professional environment.”
This incident is the latest incident where an interoffice romance story at Bridgewater bubbled into the media. In November 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported on a $1 million settlement with a female employee who had a consensual relationship with Greg Jensen, co-chief investment officer. That woman eventually left the company, while another female employee who complained that Jensen groped her backside left the company on her own accord and did not receive a financial settlement.
Dalio was reportedly personally involved in mediating both cases and assigned James Comey, who was Bridgewater’s general counsel at the time, to conduct his own internal investigation on the matter. The incidents took place in 2014, but only came to light three years later when The Wall Street Journal published a story based on anonymous sourcing. Dalio responded to the coverage on Twitter by stating, “A good principle is ‘Don’t believe everything you read in the newspapers.’”