Dalio, Lo Make Time 'Influential' List

Apr 19 2012 | 12:34pm ET

Hedge fund managers may not seem as powerful as they did four years ago, but at least two rank among the most influential people in the world.

Time magazine put Bridgewater Associates' Ray Dalio and AlphaSimplex Group's Andrew Lo on its annual list of 100, alongside the likes of President Barack Obama, New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin, comedian Louis C.K., U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Warren Buffett.

According to Dalio's profile in the magazine—written by former Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker; luminary friends, acquaintances and colleagues joined Time's writers and editors in contributing the pieces—Dalio's influence stems from his "unorthodox convictions about the workings of the economic machine."

"I have seen the respect Ray commands and the influence of the Bridgewater research," Volcker wrote. "His strong support for Federal Reserve actions during the financial crisis, considered as dangerous by some, is a case in point."

Lo's place on the list owes more to his status as an eminent economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology than for the beta replication funds he runs at AlphaSimplex, although the two are, of course, linked. Time credits him for his "adaptive markets" theory, comparing markets less to physics and more to "messy biological systems."

"If Adam Smith had a mind meld with Charles Darwin, Andrew Lo might result," the magazine posits.

While Dalio and Lo are the only current alternative investments players on the list, two veterans were also so honored. Bain Capital founder Mitt Romney—now the likely Republican challenger for list-mate Obama in November's presidential election—made the list. Time also so honored former Wohl Capital Management and Connective Capital hedge fund manager Salman Khan for his online tutoring empire.

The magazine also gave spots on the list to a trio of industry adversaries. In addition to Cuomo, who as New York's attorney general prosecuted a pay-to-play scandal at the state's public pension funds that ensnared several top alternative investment firms, Manhattan federal prosecutor Preet Bharara—whose office put Raj Rajaratnam in prison and has won dozens of insider-trading guilty pleas and convictions from hedge fund managers—and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde—who led the charge for strict European hedge fund regulation as France's finance minister—were also deemed sufficiently influential.

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