Bridgewater Associates is an American investment management firm founded by Ray Dalio in 1975. The firm serves institutional clients including pension funds, endowments, foundations, foreign governments and central banks. It utilizes a global macro investing style based on economic trends, such as inflation, currency exchange rates, and U.S. gross domestic product. Bridgewater Associates began as an institutional investment advisory service, graduated to institutional investing and pioneered the risk parity investment approach in 1996. In 1981 the company moved its headquarters from New York City to Westport, Connecticut and currently engages 1,200 employees. It embraces a corporate culture that encourages transparency and the elimination of the decision making hierarchy, and in 2011 was the "worlds largest macro hedge fund" company with US$122 billion in assets under management.