Wall Street: Bridgewater’s post-Dalio era

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Almost Friday! Dan DeFrancesco in NYC.

The results are in from yesterday's poll on Wall Street-adjacent TV shows, and "Succession" took the top spot with just shy of 50% of the votes. "Billions" came in a close second, while "Industry" clocked in at a distant third (shame on you all). 

As one reader pointed out to me, I might have tipped the scales slightly by including "Succession," as it's not really a show about finance. But wouldn't you know my timing is perfect? (more on that later). 

Also, thanks to the person who suggested "Devils," an Italian financial thriller based in London that I wasn't aware of, which features Patrick Dempsey!

On tap, we've got stories on the top VCs in Texas, more headaches for Blackstone's BREIT, and why boomers stink.

But first, the dinosaur is having one last roar at the meteor before it wipes him out.

If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app here.

Brian Cox on season four of

1. Letting go is hard to do.

What's an executive's worst nightmare? 

Ceding control. 

Bob Iger left the top job at Disney only to return less than three years later. Howard Schultz came back to run Starbucks twice. And as for Marc Benioff at Salesforce... who the hell knows.

Maybe it's the power. Maybe it's the money (I doubt it). Maybe it's just the fear of facing your own mortality and realizing that life, in fact, will go on without you. Whatever the reason, people at the top don't like walking away.

That brings us the to the big shakeup at Bridgewater Associates. As Rebecca Ungarino reports, the world's largest hedge fund is making a slew of new changes less than six months after billionaire founder Ray Dalio stepped aside.

From job cuts and new investments to an increased focus on AI and machine learning, Nir Bar Dea, who officially took over as sole CEO, has put his stamp on the $138 billion investment giant. Rebecca's got the full rundown here

Bridgewater, which was founded in 1975 from Dalio's two-bedroom apartment, is arguably just as well known for its culture as its size. Dalio's management style of "radical transparency" is celebrated. He wrote a best-selling book — Principles — about it in 2017, which seems like the type of thing Harvard Business School students quiz each other on for fun. 

And while Dalio acknowledged Bridgewater would "evolve" after he left, he believed the foundation was there, comparing it to the United States and the Constitution. (I'm sure our founding fathers had dreamed of their doc being the blueprint for a hedge fund in Westport, Connecticut.)

But the speed of that evolution would impress even Charles Darwin, as Bar Dea and the rest of executive team are quickly making Bridgewater look a lot less Bridgewater-y. 

I know it's fun to imagine Dalio stewing in one of his many mansions over this about-face, but maybe this was the plan all along?

Dalio's in a win-win situation. If the changes pay off and Bridgewater's returns skyrocket, it's yet another feather in his cap (along with plenty of extra dough, per his exit package). I bet he can even squeeze another book out of it: Passing on Principles.

And if it all goes terribly wrong? Dalio gets to return. A knight in shining armor bringing Bridgewater back from the abyss.

Maybe this is giving Dalio too much credit, but lest we forget this is one of the most successful executives of the past century. 

Click here to read more about all the changes at Bridgewater under Nir Bar Dea.

And meet the 11 top executives leading Bridgewater into a new era.

In other news:

the last of us

2. Top VCs in the Lone Star State. From Austin to Dallas to Houston, Texas is home to plenty of venture capitalists. We asked VCs from around the country who the top people are to know in the state. Here's our list of 45 Texas-based VCs.

3. Blackstone wants BREIT investors to knock it off. The PE investor had to once again limit withdrawals from its $71 billion real-estate income trust, Reuters reported. More on the tumultuous past few months for BREIT.

4. A former Goldman Sachs banker tied to the 1MDB scandal doesn't want any more prison time. Roger Ng, who was the head of investment banking at Goldman Sachs in Malaysia and was convicted of bribery and money laundering, is pleading for leniency ahead of his upcoming sentencing hearing. Ng said he was traumatized by the six months he spent in a Malaysian jail. Read more about the "sub-human conditions."

5. The boomers blew it! It turns out baby boomers, who love to complain about how no one works as hard as them, have screwed the rest of us. From building an economy that's not equipped for the 21st century to retiring early so they can hoard their wealth, boomers are the real problem. More here.

6. Venus Williams gets into PE. The tennis legend has joined Topspin Consumer Partners — oh, the synergy — as an operating partner focused on health and wellness businesses, Bloomberg reported.

7. The richest people in the world are going all-in on commercial properties. A recent report found the uber-rich are buying the dip in commercial real estate, investing $455 billion in the space in 2022. Here's where else the ultra-rich are pulling back and doubling down when it comes to their investments.

8. A legendary investor sounds off on AI, Elon Musk, and how he tests people. Billionaire VC Doug Leone, who led Sequoia Capital for more than two decades, shared his thoughts on a myriad of topics on a recent podcast. Here are 10 of his best quotes from the interview.

9. A short-seller who was up 70% last year is now betting on PE's demise. Nate Koppikar's Orso Partners is betting big against the state of the private-equity market, Institutional Investor reported. Here's why he is so bearish on the space.

10. If you make it to the end of the world, I hope you like fungi. Turns out "The Last of Us" was on to something, as mushrooms could thrive during a nuclear, volcanic, or asteroid apocalypse. Here's more on what will be left for us to eat if things get dicey. Well, not all of us. Tech billionaires have built out luxury bunkers for themselves. Take a peak inside these underground apartments, some of which include pools and horse stables. Don't worry. You could always flee to one of these affordable mountain towns

Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email ddefrancesco@insider.com, tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) and Nathan Rennolds (tweet @ncrennolds) in London. 


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