The Financial Conduct Authority has today confirmed it launched probes into disgraced fund manager Crispin Odey in mid-2021 to determine whether he was a “fit and proper person” to be working in financial services.
In a letter to MPs today, FCA chief Nikhil Rathi laid out the scale of the watchdog’s existing investigations into the fund manager and his firm Odey Asset Management as he faces a slew of sexual assault allegations.
Odey has been accused of sexual assault by 13 women in a recent Financial Times investigation.
He denies the claims.
Writing to the influential Treasury Select Committee today, Rathi said the current scope of its investigation into Odey focuses on allegations that he dismissed a report from his firm Odey Asset Management over his behaviour for “an improper purpose”, as well as whether he should have authorisation from the regulator.
“We are investigating whether Mr Odey is a fit and proper person to work in financial services and whether Mr Odey has failed to comply with the FCA’s conduct rules relating to integrity and acting with due skill, care and diligence,” Rathi wrote.
Odey has not held an approved senior manager role since 2020, Rathi said. His position as a certified individual was stripped from him at OAM and Odey Wealth Management’s request in June this year.
Senior managers at financial services firms need to be signed off by the FCA to perform their roles.
The FCA said it had also been in contact with the police due to the “criminal nature” of some of the allegations against Odey.
Rathi’s letter to the Treasury Select Committee comes after the group of MPs called on the FCA to reveal the extent of its existing probes into the fund manager and the firm.
The investment firm has been scrambling to contain the fall out of the crisis for the past month as clients pull funds in droves. The firm is now effectively being broken up as some of its flagship funds and personnel are transferred to rivals.
Odey’s firm Odey Asset Management is also under investigation fro the FCA for possible contraventions of the FCA’s ‘Principles for Business’ for “failing to conduct its affairs with due skill, care and diligence, and failing to take reasonable care to organise and control its affairs responsibly and effectively, with adequate risk management systems and controls.”
He said that while formal investigations into the firm had been opened in 2021, the firm had been under “intensive” regulatory supervision since 2020.
Odey Asset Management declined to comment.