Home Business Hedge fund fights for survival as fallout over founder's misconduct scandal deepens

Hedge fund fights for survival as fallout over founder's misconduct scandal deepens

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The crisis-hit hedge fund, which had already moved to halt customer withdrawals, now tells investors that it is moving towards a break-up of its business, leaving its future unclear.
Business reporter
Thursday 15 June 2023 14:02, UK
Odey Asset Management (OAM) has told investors it is in „advanced discussions” to potentially sell funds and move staff to rivals amid the fallout from the scandal engulfing its founder.
Odey Asset Management (OAM) revealed last weekend that it was in the process of replacing Crispin Odey’s activities in the business and that he had left the partnership after being accused by a newspaper of historic sexual misconduct.
Sky News has since reported on a scramble to shore up the business through asset sales, revealing a £75m deal to sell OAM’s holding in AO World to Mike Ashley-founded Frasers Group.
Sky’s City editor said later on Thursday that the firesale included the bulk of its stakes in car dealership Pendragon and its holding in Plus500, the online trading services provider.
While the volume of client redemptions at OAM is unclear, news of the pending break-up indicated a perilous position for the future composition of the business.
It had already moved to halt withdrawals from two of its funds and closed another.
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The first signs of trouble emerged last week, after the Financial Times and Tortoise Media published their claims against Mr Odey, when several major global banks said they were reviewing their funding relationships with OAM.
He has strenuously denied allegations that he sexually assaulted or harassed 25 women over a 25-year period.
OAM’s latest announcement was seen as an admission that a break-up could not be avoided but it was not clear what, if anything, would be retained.
The letter said: „The firm is now in advanced discussions for rehousing funds and transferring certain fund management activities and individuals to other asset managers.
„Any sale or rehousing is considered subject of course to any relevant regulatory approvals and due diligence, with a view to an orderly transition of any assets and investors.
„The fund boards and managers are also appraised and supportive of this approach.”
It concluded: „Acting in the best interest of our investors and our staff has continued to be our primary concern over the past few days. We will continue to update you.”
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