Alex Valdes_vF.jpg
Working at Bridgewater

Alex, Co-Head of Investment Engineering

Name: Alex
Role: Co-Head of Investment Engineering, Investment Engine
Background: Alex joined Bridgewater in 2008 and serves as the Co-Head of Investment Engineering, where he is responsible for the investment systems Bridgewater creates. Alex started at Bridgewater in Operations, and after two years transitioned into the Research team. While on the Research team Alex helped form and eventually lead the Investment Engineering department.

What meaningful impact have you been able to make here?
There are a few things that I would highlight. Mostly, standing up the Investment Engineering program, defining what investment engineering means, and determining how it connects to our research mission and our investment edge. Every investment manager is trying to figure out what gives them the ability to beat markets, which is called “edge.” I would say a big piece of our edge is our ability to do research quickly and very deeply — meaning across time and across markets. What we've been able to do in Investment Engineering is make that possible. Now that we have Investment Engineering, we have people dedicated towards this mission which has enabled us to do much more research, much faster, of higher quality with greater insight.

Additionally, I’m a leader for our Hispanic + LatinX Network affinity group, where we’ve done a lot of great work. For instance, we’ve helped define what diversity and inclusion means in a practical and useful way to our business, and not just as lip service to a general goal. Said differently, we’ve shown how we bring D&I to bear and get value from different people and different backgrounds, which has been great.

What are some things that you've learned about yourself from working at Bridgewater?
A common question people ask me here is, "What will I learn when I come and work at Bridgewater?" Yes, you will learn about markets, economics, history, and how to turn investment concepts into investment systems. The problems we solve here don’t have right or wrong answers, but they do have better and worse ones. Here, probably more than anywhere else, you learn how to listen and how to work through programs with good frameworks. The ability to solve an ambiguous problem in a general and robust way is a very valuable skill no matter the domain and I think we do a very good job of teaching people how to do it.

What are some examples of meaningful relationships that you've experienced at Bridgewater?
I’ve received wonderful mentorship during my time at Bridgewater. For instance, Kevin Brennan — Bridgewater’s Co-Head of Technology and Director of Investment Systems — hired me from Operations. Reflecting on this, I think about what it means to be in his shoes and look at someone from a completely different area and take a bet on a person he didn’t know much about. I admire Kevin’s leadership as he continues to take bets on me, is very capable and good at listening and understanding, and is willing to make hard choices. If Kevin didn’t take a bet on me my career would have been totally different, so I’m extremely grateful for this meaningful Bridgewater relationship.

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