Bridgewater appoints co-CEOs as top executive quits for US Senate run

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Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, has appointed two co-chief executives to replace David McCormick, who is leaving ahead of an expected run for the US Senate.

The hedge fund, which manages around $150bn of assets, said it was promoting Nir Bar Dea, 40, previously deputy CEO, to share the top job with Mark Bertolini, co-chair of Bridgewater’s operating board of directors and a former healthcare executive.

“David has made the decision to leave Bridgewater in order to consider running for the open Senate seat in his home state of Pennsylvania,” Bridgewater said in a statement on Monday signed by Ray Dalio, its billionaire founder, and other managers.

“Through this co-CEO model, we are getting a powerful combination of Nir, a well-respected internal leader . . . and Mark, who has enormous experience and is a globally respected and proven CEO.” 

McCormick, a former senior US Treasury official responsible for international economic relations under George W Bush, joined Bridgewater in 2009, becoming co-CEO in 2017 and sole chief executive last year.

He has been preparing to join the Republican primary field for the Senate seat in Pennsylvania being vacated by Pat Toomey. The contest in this year’s midterm elections could be pivotal in determining the balance of power in the Senate, which is at present evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.

In joining the Republican primary field, McCormick would be up against Mehmet Oz, the television celebrity physician known as “Dr Oz”, who is a leading contender for his party’s nomination.

But McCormick is hoping that Republicans in the state will prefer a more mainstream, business-friendly candidate in the mould of Glenn Youngkin, the former Carlyle executive who won the Virginia Governor’s race as a Republican in November.

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