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Odey hedge fund in talks with brokers amid misconduct allegations

Odey Asset Management has revealed it is in “active discussions” with its broker partners, after fresh misconduct allegations published against its founder led banks to review their relationship with the fund.

It followed a report in the Financial Times (FT) – together with Tortoise Media – which included several allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct from women who either worked at the hedge fund or had social or professional dealings with its founder, Crispin Odey.

In a letter to investors, seen by the PA news agency, Odey Asset Management’s (OAM) chief executive Peter Martin said: “We do not recognise the picture of the firm that has been painted by the Financial Times.”

For legal reasons, the firm said it would not comment in detail on the allegations, which it said its lawyers are looking into.

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Mr Martin added: “We are aware of press coverage relating to actions allegedly being taken by prime brokers and other service providers to OAM.

“While we cannot comment in detail (again for legal reasons), we are in active discussions with all service providers and we are confident that our service providers will continue to work with us to ensure that the interests of investors are protected.”

On Friday, asset manager Schroders cut ties with OAM and sold its remaining investment in the business following the allegations.

“Schroders is not invested in Odey Asset Management,” a spokeswoman for the firm said.

On Thursday, it emerged that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is investigating the company and that banks are rethinking their relationships with the fund.

The American bank JP Morgan is understood to be looking at its ties with OAM, while reports emerged that Morgan Stanley is also moving to sever its prime broking relationship with the fund manager.

Both banks declined to comment.

The FT, citing a source, reported that the FCA opened an investigation into OAM two years ago. The FCA declined to comment.

The allegations involve 13 women who claim that Crispin Odey abused or harassed them, with eight of the 13 saying he sexually assaulted them.

The incidents happened between 1998 and 2021, the FT reported, after interviewing 40 former employees at Odey Asset Management.

Mr Martin said OAM “treats, now and in the past, all such allegations extremely seriously”, adding: “Staff wellbeing is also central to the culture of OAM’s business.”

The PA news agency attempted to contact Mr Odey on Thursday. Reached by the FT, he said that the allegations were “rubbish”.

Contacted by Reuters after reports that Morgan Stanley was to cut back its prime broking relationship with Odey AM, Mr Odey said: “That is a massively quick reaction to an allegation by the FT.”

Mr Odey has previously faced similar allegations. In 2021, he was acquitted of indecent assault of a woman in 1998.

The judge in the case said that his accuser’s story contained inconsistencies.