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Odey Asset Management is to close five months after allegations of sexual assault and harassment against founder Crispin Odey plunged one of London’s oldest hedge fund groups into crisis.
The company, 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 close. Fund Managers and Funds have switched to new Asset Managers.”
The company has been in crisis since a Financial Times investigation in June reported claims from 13 women against Odey over alleged sexual misconduct that had occurred over decades.
The hedge fund magnate and Conservative party donor was widely regarded as one of the last mavericks of London’s hedge fund scene. Odey had a reputation for making outlandish bets in markets and mingling with society’s elite on hunting weekends or with political heavyweights at lunch.
The allegations prompted key banking partners to quickly cut ties with the group and pull investors’ money, forcing the company to suspend some funds and close others. The group managed $13.3 billion in assets at its peak and had $3.8 billion under management last year.
The firm’s partners ousted Odey from the business he founded, key fund managers including James Hanbury and Jamie Grimston joined rivals and the group left its long-standing Mayfair office in August.
The British financial regulator has opened investigations into both the company and its founder. The Financial Conduct Authority declined to comment.
Following the publication of the FT’s initial investigation, seven more women came forward with similar allegations, bringing the total to 20. Of those, twelve were former employees of the company.
One of the women who said she was sexually abused by Odey said Tuesday that the company’s closure “should serve as a warning to anyone in positions of power to realize that they can no longer get away with inappropriate and illegal behavior involving wealth. as their shield, both in and out of the workplace.”
“My overriding reaction is one of hope,” said another woman who accused Odey of sexual assault. “I don’t pray with naive hope. The fact that his death, once it started, was so quick and obvious gives me hope that attitudes are changing and that women are starting to believe they can have a say.”
Odey did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The financier strongly denied the first set of allegations and did not respond to a request for comment regarding the next six allegations from women.
He admitted an incident of misconduct for the first time when the 20th woman came forward with her account to the FT in September. He said he “grabbed her breasts” but said the incident was an “aberration” and blamed it on an anesthetic he was given at the dentist that day.
Both Odey and the company are facing a lawsuit from two of his alleged victims for personal injury and psychological harm. Odey and the company have yet to formally respond to the claim, which has been filed in London’s High Court.
Additional reporting by Jane Croft in London