Odey Asset Management says not gating funds in Crispin Odey succession
By Nell Mackenzie
LONDON (Reuters) – Odey Asset Management is not considering imposing exit restrictions on investors in any of its funds, a spokesperson said, as partners seek to sever ties with founder Crispin Odey following allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
The Financial Times reported on Sunday that Odey Asset Management had been discussing imposing restrictions or gating some EU retail funds as part of emergency measures to manage an investor exodus, citing people with knowledge of the talks.
But a spokesperson for Odey Asset Management (OAM) told Reuters on Monday: “All funds are open today as per usual business, and we are not considering gating any funds.”
The spokesperson said the hedge fund partnership was considering the closure of its 101 million pound ($127.03 million) Swan UCITs fund.
Crispin Odey has denied the allegations of misconduct, which were jointly reported by the Financial Times and Tortoise on Thursday.
Odey Asset Management said on Saturday that the financier would be leaving the firm, which had $4.8 billion in assets under management as of September 2022.
On Sunday, a letter to investors signed by the firm’s partners and seen by Reuters set out a succession plan, including naming replacement managers for key funds, as the firm sought to end “personal and economic involvement” with him.
OAM also plans to change the name of the firm, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Sunday’s letter to investors said Freddie Neave would take responsibility for the Odey European Inc (OEI) and OEI Mac funds, with James Hanbury assuming leadership of the LP Odey Opus Fund and Oliver Kelton taking charge of the Odey Pan European Fund.
The Odey Swan Fund will be taken on by Neave on an interim basis before a final fund manager is decided upon by the board, the letter said.
The letter also said that OAM had held “constructive dialogue” over the weekend with its prime brokers.
Since Thursday three Wall Street firms that are OAM’s so-called prime brokers – Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley – had moved to review or were cutting ties with the business.
Some of its clients said they were terminating business with OAM because of the allegations against its founder.
Crispin Odey, who was cleared of indecent assault charges by a British court in 2021, told Reuters on Thursday that the Financial Times report was “a rehash of an old article and none of the allegations have been stood up in a courtroom or an investigation”.
As prime brokers, the banks help facilitate its trades and provide leverage for bets, making their support vital.
JPMorgan and Goldman are continuing to review their prime-broking relationships with the company, sources told Reuters on Saturday. Morgan Stanley declined to comment. UBS which also acts as a prime broker to the firm, did not immediately respond.
(Reporting by Nell Mackenzie; Editing by Sinead Cruise and Catherine Evans)