City Watchdog investigating hedge fund amid claims against founder Crispin Odey

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The Financial Conduct Authority is investigating Odey Asset Management (Odey AM) and banks are reviewing their relationship with the fund as a series of misconduct allegations were published against its founder.

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

Both banks declined to comment.

It comes as the Financial Times (FT), citing a source, reported that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) opened an investigation into Odey Asset Management two years ago. The FCA declined to comment.

Odey AM declined to comment.

Earlier in the day, the FT – together with Tortoise Media – said that it had spoken to 13 women who either worked for Odey AM or had social or professional dealings with its founder, Crispin Odey.

They claimed that he had 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.

The PA news agency had attempted to contact Mr Odey. 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.

Harriett Baldwin, a Conservative MP who chairs the Treasury Select Committee, said: “The Financial Times has published an important piece of journalism and the range of women they have interviewed paints a troubling picture of an inappropriate work environment.

“I am sure investors and prospective investors in the funds, employees and prospective employees and the regulator will read this article with concern.”

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