Odey crisis deepens as hedge fund dives again with millionaire Tory donor fighting sex assault charge
The flagship hedge fund run by millionaire Tory donor Crispin Odey slumped again in 2020 as the investor tried to revive his flagging fortunes while fighting an indecent assault charge.
The Odey European fund fell 30.5 per cent last year, according to an investor letter seen by Bloomberg, the fifth annual decline in the past six years.
It comes after Odey, a prominent Brexit backer, stepped down from the helm of his firm Odey Asset Management in November as he prepares to defend himself in a historic sex assault trial.
Hedge fund manager Crispin Odey leaves Magistrates’ Court in London, with wife Nichola Pease, accused of assaulting a young investment banker in the late 1990s
The 62-year-old is set to appear in Hendon Magistrates’ Court, in north London, in February after he allegedly groped a young banker in 1998.
His firm managed around £10billion of clients’ money in 2015, but is now down to around £2billion as bets backfired.
In a letter to clients in November, he said: ‘I realise for many of my investors the current performance of the fund is inexcusable.’
Despite handing over the running of his firm to colleague Timothy Pearey, Odey is still managing funds. The Odey European fund gained 21 per cent in market turmoil last March, but failed to sustain momentum.
Yet funds run by colleagues – such as Odey Absolute Return Focus Fund and Odey Absolute Return fund – made gains over the year, the firm says.
In November Odey Asset Management announced that a number of funds would be hived off into a new entity, Brook Asset Management.
The move was seen by some as an attempt to distance itself from Odey, though the firm said it was part of a ‘succession plan’.
In a pre-trial hearing in September, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard allegations that Odey invited a banker back to his Chelsea townhouse in 1998 following drinks.
Prosecutors claimed Odey left the room before reappearing in his dressing gown and ‘launching himself’ at the young woman, putting his hand under her blouse, to grab her breast. Odey denies the claims.