Scandal-hit Odey Asset Management has insisted its funds are not halting investor withdrawals in the wake of assault allegations against its founder, Crispin Odey.
The company, which has around 4.4 billion US dollars (£3.5 billion) in assets under management, said all its funds are open “as per usual business” following a report that the boards of its EU investment funds were looking at measures to restrict investors pulling out cash, called “gating”.
The Financial Times had reported that restrictions were being mooted amid fears of a rush to withdraw over the coming days.
A spokesman for Odey Asset Management said: “All funds are open today as per usual business and we’re not considering gating any funds.
“The only fund we’re considering closing is the Odey Swan Fund, the Ucits (Undertaking for collective investment in transferable securities) fund formerly run by Crispin Odey.”
Late on Sunday, the firm announced a shake-up of management for key funds that were run by Mr Odey.
He denies the claims.
The company said Mr Odey’s main hedge fund will be run by his co-manager, Freddie Neave, as part of the changes.
Mr Neave will take over full responsibility of the Odey European Inc (OEI) and OEI Mac hedge funds.
James Hanbury will now run the Odey Opus Fund and Oliver Kelton will take responsibility for the Odey Pan European Fund.
The firm said it is considering options to put to the fund board regarding the Odey Swan Fund, which “may include an option to close the fund”.
The Odey Swan Fund manages around 76 million euros (£65 million) in funds and it is understood its management strategy was unique to Mr Odey.
The fund will be run by Mr Neave in the meantime.
“We plan to announce a complete rebrand of the partnership in the near future,” the company said in a further move to contain the fallout.
A report in the FT, together with Tortoise Media, last Thursday included a series of allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct from women who either worked at the firm or had social or professional dealings with Mr Odey.
The allegations involve 13 women who claim Mr Odey abused or harassed them, with eight of the 13 saying he sexually assaulted them.
The report sparked the Financial Conduct Authority to widen an investigation into the asset manager and some of the firm’s key banks and brokers to review or cut their ties with the group.
Announcing Mr Odey’s departure on Saturday, Odey Asset Management said its founder will “no longer have any economic or personal involvement in the partnership”.
The statement, signed by chief executive Peter Martin and chief financial officer Michael Ede, said the firm investigated the allegations concerning Mr Odey but “cannot comment in detail as it is bound by legal obligations of confidentiality”.
The alleged incidents happened between 1998 and 2021, the FT reported after interviewing 40 former employees at Odey Asset Management.
In a statement to the FT, Mr Odey described the claims as “rubbish”.
Press Association – Holly Williams