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Morning Coffee: Steve Jobs vs the world’s biggest hedge fund. The Snap IPO crackled and popped

Ray Dalio, Dalio, Bridgewater, Bridgewater Associates, hedge funds, alts, Steve Jobs, Apple, Snap, Snapchat, IPO, ECM

Both Steve Jobs and Ray Dalio were known for being harsh, demanding bosses. But while Jon Rubinstein was able to stick with Jobs for 16 years, he lasted just 10 months under the management of Dalio.

On Wednesday, Dalio announced that Rubinstein had abruptly left Bridgewater Associates after just 10 months, replacing him with an executive who almost left the hedge fund earlier this year. “We mutually agree that he is not a cultural fit for Bridgewater,” Dalio said of Rubinstein, who will work as an adviser to the firm.

While something like that might seem shocking at another firm, it is commonplace at Bridgewater.

Many attribute such short-lived tenures of high-profile additions and entry-level employees alike to Dalio’s demand for “radical transparency” in the workplace. Employees rate each other on their performance via iPad apps and each one has a “baseball card” with their ratings for various characteristics. Bridgewater is developing algorithms based on such employee data to automate decision-making such as who gets a promotion and how much each person’s raise will be, according to Bloomberg.

That type of quirky culture takes some getting used to for anyone, and some people are never able to come to terms with it.

Rubenstein was brought in to redesign Bridgewater’s technology, but ended up getting frustrated because he got caught up with the little things rather than being able to look at the big problems. Like most large financial services organisations, Bridgewater’s tech is straining under outdated legacy systems, but this wasn’t being replaced at the rate it needed to be. Bridgewater’s radical transparency, it seems, doesn’t work for a technology professional used to Agile working methodologies and innovative tech projects.

Separately, shares of the social-network-that-calls-itself-a-camera-company Snap popped more than 40% on their trading debut yesterday, which could boost IPOs generally and encourage other big private technology companies to go public in the near future, according to the New York Times.

At its first-day closing price of $24.48 a share, Snap makes its much bigger rival Facebook – as well as Google, Amazon and even Netflix – look like super-affordable “value” stocks. And many people are looking at Twitter as an analogous case that could serve as a cautionary tale. Snap posted a net loss of $514.6m and earned $404.4m in revenue last year. In 2015, its revenue was $58.6m.

A typical IPO has a lot of wild action going on behind the scenes, and Snap was no exception.

A Lightspeed Venture Partners executive who found out about Snap from his early-adopter teenage daughter convinced her high school to invest $15k in the seed-funding round, which is now worth tens of millions of dollars. Lightspeed turned an $8m investment – when Snapchat had just 100k users – into $2.2bn.

Once a modest researcher on Wall Street, Imran Khan “clawed his way up” the ladder at J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse – helping to lead Alibaba’s IPO while working at the latter – before joining Snap as “the adult in the room.” Goldman and Morgan Stanley investment bankers had to court his favor to become Snap’s lead underwriters.

Meanwhile:

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan wants to change the Volcker rule (Handelsblatt)

Many of the 30 richest people on Earth currently – or used to – work in financial services. (Business Insider)

Goldman’s cost-cutting efforts have ruffled feathers by going after bankers’ beloved BlackBerries. (Bloomberg)

The head of the world’s biggest asset manager and the world’s most successful investor have a major disagreement. (WSJ)

PwC pushed two partners out of the picture, but did not fire them, after their Oscars envelope screw-up. (FT)

The blundering duo has been given bodyguards after receiving death threats. (BBC)

AI is red hot in financial services and beyond, but scientists admit that it could lead to various doomsday scenarios. (Bloomberg)

Email and the humble telephone are passé, and even Slack may be going out of style as the always-on video conference, also known as a wormhole or portal, is set to become the next big thing in offices. (Bloomberg)

Many women still balk at the risk of investing in MBAs. (FT)

There’s a strong case for taking microdoses of cannabis at work. (Bloomberg)

Some employees actually prefer bosses who are micromanagers. (BBC)

Photo credit: GettyImages

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