Comey promises Bridgewater-style transparency at the FBI

By Lawrence Delevingne

Tue Jul 9, 2013


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Former Bridgewater GC Jim Comey testifies before the Senate in hopes of leading the FBI.


   
  Jim Comey on C-SPAN today
Bridgewater Associates' famed culture of "radical transparency" may be coming to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

During his confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee to become director of the FBI, former Bridgewater general counsel Jim Comey said he hoped to apply some of the techniques he practiced at Ray Dalio's $150 billion, 1,400 person hedge fund firm. Comey even said that Dalio suggested he "consider taping all meetings at the FBI," but immediately joked that "I'm not prepared to commit to that."

Chuck Grassley, the Republican Senator from Iowa, asked Comey about his time in the hedge fund world.

"At Bridgewater, your former employer, the founder of the firm embraced a philosophy called radical transparency which involves recording a lot of meetings and encouraging junior employees to probe senior staff with tough questions," Grassley said. "As a strong supporter of transparency in government, I think the FBI could use a little more radical transparency. I don't mean necessarily recording your meetings. What do you think are the benefits of radical transparency and how could this philosophy apply to the FBI?"

Comey responded positively to the idea.

"I went to Bridgewater in part because of that culture of transparency. It's just something that's long been part of me. And so I think it's incumbent on every leader to try and foster an atmosphere where people will speak truth to power," Comey said. "Bridgewater and the FBI are two different institutions, but I promise you I will carry those values with me and try and spread them as far as I can within the institution."

Comey, the former U.S. Deputy Attorney General, worked as Bridgewater's top lawyer from September 2010 to January 2013. He previously embraced Dalio's unique management style in a video testimonial on the firm's website.

"President Obama could not have picked a man with greater integrity or a stronger moral beacon than Jim Comey," Dalio told Absolute Return in May.

Comey may still be due a big paycheck from Bridgewater. Comey said he expected to receive $163,000 from the firm on June 30 and, if he is confirmed, a profit sharing payout of $3.07 million, according to a public Senate questionnaire.



See also:
Former Bridgewater GC likely to lead FBI | Ray Dalio's Radical Truth