Bridgewater taps China head Alpert to oversee new investment unit

By Carolina Mandl

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bridgewater Associates has promoted Joanna Alpert, its China general manager, as head of a recently launched business unit focused on managing and creating new investment products.

Co-chief investment officer Karen Karniol-Tambour announced the promotion in a letter to employees, emphasizing Alpert’s experience in China over the last six years, where the firm is the biggest foreign hedge fund. Reuters reviewed excerpts of the letter.

In January, Bridgewater was set to nearly double its assets under management in China to 40 billion yuan from the previous year and its funds have outperformed rivals, Reuters reported earlier.

Alpert will relocate from Shanghai to the U.S. following her promotion and will report to Karniol-Tambour.

As part of a recent reorganization, Chief Executive Nir Bar Dea divided Bridgewater’s business into two new units. Alpha Engine concentrates on the firm’s flagship fund, Pure Alpha, while Total Portfolio Strategies, which will be led by Alpert, is focused on partnering with clients to create investment solutions that address their particular needs.

The All Weather funds, designed to follow markets more closely than Pure Alpha, and the Defensive Alpha fund, which generates returns negatively correlated to equities, are part of the Total Portfolio Strategies unit.

Karniol-Tambour said in the letter that Alpert is now “in the seat of building this key part of Bridgewater’s business.” Alpert joined the hedge fund in 2005 and left it in 2008, returning in 2018 to lead the Chinese enterprise.

Since founder Ray Dalio gave up control of Bridgewater in October 2022, the hedge fund has been vocal about its plans to increase offerings and footprint.

Bar Dea said last year that Bridgewater was expanding its presence in Asia through Singapore and saw opportunities in equities and sustainability products.

(Reporting by Carolina Mandl in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)