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Ex-ATP chief Stendevad to join Bridgewater

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Carsten Stendevad, who resigned as CEO of Danish pension fund ATP in August, is to join US hedge fund giant Bridgewater Associates.

Stendevad will work with the Connecticut-based firm for a year as part of a new “senior fellowship program”, Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio said in a letter to clients, which was also posted on LinkedIn.

Dalio said the programme would “bring highly distinguished individuals into Bridgewater for a year to explore what our culture is like and lend their expertise and insights to our organization”.

“We expect a limited number of such special people to join this program in the future,” he added.

Stendevad left ATP last year after three years at the helm, citing family reasons. The DKK859bn (€115.6bn) pension fund named Christian Hyldahl as his successor in October.

ATP uses a similar “all-weather” investment strategy to that employed by Dalio since he founded the hedge fund group in 1975. The model was in part inspired by Bridgewater, and the two organisations have worked together for more than a decade discussing multi-asset issues.

ATP’s new CIO, Kasper Ahrndt Lorenzen, told IPE last year that the Danish pension’s multi-factor method was also indebted to the thinking of another US investment manager, AQR, and the academic field of “financial economics” more generally.

In his letter, Ray Dalio also announced a shake-up of the group’s senior management, involving him stepping down as co-CEO of Bridgewater to focus on his role as co-chief investment officer.

Dalio said his co-CEO role was always intended to be temporary, to aid the transition of Greg Jensen out of his chief executive position. Jensen is now co-CIO at the firm. Dalio’s own transition would be complete as of 15 April, he said.

Jon Rubinstein, also co-CEO, is to leave after less than a year as part of the changes. Dalio said the pair “mutually agree that he is not a cultural fit for Bridgewater”. Rubinstein – a former Apple executive credited with helping create the iPod – will transition to an advisory role, Dalio said.

Bridgewater president David McCormick is to become a co-CEO alongside Eileen Murray, who has been co-CEO since 2011.

“Any organization run by a 60+ year old that says that it isn’t in transition is either naïve or disingenuous,” Dalio said. 

The hedge fund group – which now runs more than $160bn (€151.4bn) – is famous for its policy of “radical transparency”, based on Dalio’s founding principles. Bridgewater employees must be “extremely open, air disagreements, test each other’s logic, and view discovering mistakes and weaknesses as a good thing that leads to improvement and innovation”, according to its website.

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