Partners at Crispin Odey’s eponymous hedge fund firm have mounted a bid to oust him as the company rushes to distance itself from its founder in the wake of allegations against him of sexual misconduct.
The high-profile financier and his firm have been at the centre of a growing crisis after the Financial Times reported on Thursday that 13 women alleged Odey had sexually assaulted or harassed them in various incidents over a 25-year period.
Odey’s other partners want to buy out his controlling stake in the company, a person familiar with the situation told the FT.
Reached by phone on Saturday lunchtime, Odey confirmed he had been notified of the firm’s intention to oust him but suggested he would fight it. “You have to have [a] willing buyer, willing seller,” he said. He did not provide additional comment.
A former partner said of Odey: “The emperor now has no clothes and is losing his powers. It’s very nice not to be there anymore.”
He added: “They had to get rid of him. He’s clearly got to go. In the end the boss got shoved because he went too far.”
Odey Asset Management could not be reached for comment.
Odey stepped down as co-chief executive of the firm in November, 2020, but remained the majority owner. In the same month, Brook Asset Management was established and almost half of the firm’s funds, including those by star partners James Hanbury and Oliver Kelton, were rebranded under the Brook name.
Several large financial institutions had already moved to cut ties with the firm in response to the FT’s reporting.
Exane, which is owned by French bank BNP Paribas, told Odey Asset Management on Thursday that it was terminating the relationship. Goldman Sachs began unwinding its relationship, including with Brook Asset Management, on Friday.
The last time Odey’s executive committee attempted to discipline him for his behaviour towards women, after he broke a “final written warning” prohibiting him from behaving inappropriately with female staff in 2021, he fired them.
The new executive committee includes Peter Martin, chief executive, and Michael Ede, chief financial and operating officer.
According to the former partner, extracting Odey from the firm he founded will be complicated because of its “convoluted structure” with several holding companies within the group that are legally interconnected. Back office, legal, compliance and marketing departments are shared.
Source: Financial Times