Deutsche’s Chip Packard Turns Up at Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater
Former Deutsche Bank wealth management executive Charles “Chip” Packard, it turns out, turned his back on the German bank rather than the other way around.
Packard, who unexpectedly resigned as head of Deutsche’s U.S. private banking business three weeks ago, on Monday joined Bridgewater Associates, the high-powered hedge fund run by the iconoclastic Ray Dalio.
“I started yesterday,” Packard wrote us in an e-mail Tuesday afternoon. He said there is no truth to a rumor that he will try to create a family-office channel within Bridgewater focusing on the ultra-high-net-worth retail channel.
In his role as a senior account representative at Bridgewater, however, he will cover some of world’s wealthiest families, including sheiks and quasi-governmental institutions, said people familiar with his new gig. Bridgewater manages about $154 billion for institutional clients, endowments and charitable foundations, and has made more money for clients than any hedge fund in the history of the industry, according to several published reports.
“[Bridgewater is] incredibly selective when hiring,” said Mike Campbell, the former head of retail brokerage at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, who hired Packard as a rookie broker in 1996. “DB countered big time with Chip, but the chance to work at Bridgewater cannot be missed.”
Packard had been in position to consolidate power at Deutsche Bank’s shrinking franchise. The German bank is selling its retail U.S. brokerage business to Raymond James Financial, leaving it with a group of about 100 traditional private bankers who were under Packard’s sole baton. Jerry Miller, Packard’s boss, is leaving the bank, and brokerage head Haig Ariyan will be joining RayJay to run what will be called its Alex. Brown division.
Working for Dalio at Bridgewater’s Westport, Connecticut, headquarters, apparently proved too compelling an adventure — and too good a commute — for Packard, who resides in nearby Darien.
Dalio, 66, who is known for having a Svengali-like influence over many of his employees, outlining the “fundamental life principles” that he applies to management. Then again, working in wealth management for a large European bank was itself full of surprises, as Packard or anyone who worked of late at Deutsche, Credit Suisse or Barclays can attest.