Bridgewater paid off employee after relationship with top executive: WSJ

(Reuters) - Bridgewater Associates paid a settlement to a woman who was fired after having a consensual relationship with top executive Greg Jensen, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Ray Dalio, founder, co-chief investment officer and co-chairman of Bridgewater Associates, speaks at the 2017 Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Shortly after the incident occurred about three years ago, the company heard from another female employee that Jensen had molested, the newspaper said.

The woman who complained of being groped has also left the hedge fund but did not leave because of the incident, and was not fired, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Neither woman was identified in the article.

Reuters was unable to independently confirm the claims.

In a statement emailed by Bridgewater to Reuters, Jensen, Bridgewater’s co-chief investment officer, described the description of his behavior as “inaccurate and salacious.”

Bridgewater, the largest hedge fund manager in the world with around $160 billion in assets under management, in the statement called the story “an uninformed misrepresentation of what actually occurred.”

Bridgewater made similar points in a letter to clients on Tuesday, a copy of which was seen by Reuters. The firm noted that last year it had hired attorney Jamie Gorelick of WilmerHale to review its policies and procedures. The law firm concluded that there was a “robust” and “conscientiously implemented” system for addressing internal disputes.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the incidents were brought to Bridgewater’s attention roughly three years ago, when Jensen was co-chief executive of the world’s largest hedge fund.

Bridgewater’s billionaire founder Ray Dalio was personally involved in mediating both matters, the paper quoted the people as saying, and approved a settlement of more than $1 million for the woman who had a relationship with Jensen.

“While I’m prohibited from commenting on this particular case, I can say that I judge Greg to be a man of high character and, I would not have tolerated the pattern of behavior inaccurately described by the Wall Street Journal,” Dalio said in a statement Tuesday that was sent to Reuters.

Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru and Lawrence Delevingne in New York; Editing by Carmel Crimmins and Clive McKeef