June 23, 2024

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Odey Asset Management to close after sexual assault allegations against founder

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Odey Asset Management is to close five months after allegations of sexual assault and harassment against its founder, Crispin Odey, plunged one of London’s oldest hedge fund groups into crisis.

The firm, which the 64-year-old founded in 1991, announced on its website on Tuesday: “Odey Asset Management, including Brook Asset Management and Odey Wealth, will be closing. Fund Managers and Funds have moved to new Asset Managers.”

The firm has been engulfed in crisis since a Financial Times investigation in June reported claims from 13 women against Odey over alleged sexual misconduct carried out over decades.

The hedge fund mogul and Conservative party donor was widely considered one of the last mavericks of London’s hedge fund scene. Odey had a reputation for making outlandish bets on markets and mingling with society’s elite at hunting weekends or political heavyweights over lunch.

The allegations prompted key banking partners to quickly sever ties with the group and investors to pull their money, forcing the firm to suspend certain funds and shut others. The group managed $13.3bn in assets at its peak and still ran $3.8bn last year.

The firm’s partners ousted Odey from the business he founded, key fund managers including James Hanbury and Jamie Grimston have joined rivals, and the group left its longstanding Mayfair office in August.

The UK financial regulator opened probes into both the firm and its founder. The Financial Conduct Authority declined to comment.

Following publication of the FT’s initial investigation, seven further women came forward with similar allegations, bringing the total number to 20. Of those, 12 were former employees of the firm.

One of the women who said she was sexually assaulted by Odey said on Tuesday that the firm’s closure “must serve as a warning to all those in positions of power to…

2023-10-31 13:58:56

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