Restrictions on money outflow from Odey company as sex allegations against founder take ‘serious’ toll
Crispin Odey has lost his status as a ‘fit and proper’ person in the City of London days after being kicked out of his hedge fund amid a sexual harassment scandal.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register revealed that the 64-year-old is no longer certified by his company, Odey Asset Management, to deal directly with clients.
The fund was supposed to certify him, but the register showed his fit and proper status had ended on June 12, two days after he was evicted from the partnership, according to The Times.
The loss of status is a major symbolic blow to Odey, who became one of Britain’s best-known hedge fund managers after benefiting from a series of risky bets, including against the pound, during the Brexit referendum.
Odey faces allegations, published in the Financial Times earlier this month, of sexual misconduct against 13 different women. He denies the claims.
Allegations: British financier Crispin Odey (pictured) has been accused of sexual assault or harassment by 13 women
The report has thrown the company into crisis: Withdrawals from several of its funds have been suspended as it struggles to keep cash from flowing out of the company.
And Odey Wealth Management has told clients it is “considering several options” for its future as the allegations against its founder take a “serious” toll.
A letter to customers arrived when the FCA announced it was acting to support Odey’s business.
The FCA restricts the movement of cash and assets from both Odey Wealth and Odey Asset Management.
Customers have withdrawn money and city agencies have cut ties following the allegations.
Odey is one of the UK’s most prominent financiers, having founded his firm in 1991. It is best known for its hedge fund company Odey Asset Management. He was removed as a partner of that firm last week.
Odey Wealth is a separate company within the financier’s group of companies, fighting for their future in the face of the controversy.
In the letter to clients, reported yesterday by the Financial Times, Odey Wealth said the “events of the past week have had a serious impact on our business.”
Last week, Odey Asset Management said it was in “advanced discussions” to split itself up and transfer funds and personnel to rivals in what could spell the end of the group.
Several major banks have cut ties with the company as prime brokers and custodians. Prime brokers provide hedge funds loans and other services, while custodians protect clients’ funds.