June 24, 2024

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Crispin Oddy leaves the hedge fund he founded after allegations of assault

Crispin Oddy leaves the hedge fund he founded after allegations of assault

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Crispin Oddy, one of Britain’s best-known hedge fund managers, is leaving the company he founded, Oddy Asset Management, following allegations of sexual misconduct, the company’s executive committee said on Saturday.

The Financial Times and Tortoise, in a joint publication on Thursday, reported allegations by 13 women that Oddy had sexually assaulted or harassed them over a 25-year period. He denies these allegations.

Oddy and Duncan Lamont, counsel at the law firm Charles Russell Speeches, which represents Oddy Asset Management (OAM), did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment on the hedge fund manager’s departure.

“As of today, he will have no economic or personal involvement in the partnership,” OAM’s executive committee said in a statement.

The company said OAM would continue to operate without him and his partners would control and manage the asset management company. It added that it was investigating allegations involving Audi, but could not comment in detail because it was bound by legal obligations of confidentiality.

The company plans to change its name, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

Audi told the Financial Times on Saturday that he had been notified of the company’s position, adding: “You have to have (a) willing buyer, willing seller.” He did not elaborate.

Since Thursday’s publication, three Wall Street firms known as OAM’s flagship brokers — Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley — have moved to review the business or cut ties with it. Some of its clients said they were discontinuing their business with OAM because of the allegations.

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As prime brokers, banks help facilitate their trades and provide leverage for bets, making their support vital.

Sources told Reuters on Saturday that JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are continuing to review the major brokerage’s relationships with the company. Morgan Stanley declined to comment. UBS who also acts as the company’s primary broker, did not immediately respond.

Oddy, who was acquitted in 2021 of indecent assault by a British court, told Reuters on Thursday that the report was “a paraphrase of an old article and none of these allegations have been raised in a courtroom or investigation”.

A prominent supporter of Brexit and political donor to the Conservative Party, Audi founded OAM in 1991.

The company was known for its highly leveraged bets trading in global equities, debt and currencies, and had $4.8 billion in assets under management, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in September 2022.

Britain’s FCA has been investigating OAM since 2021, a source familiar with the matter said Thursday. The regulator declined to comment when contacted on Saturday.

Additional reporting by Carolina Mandel in New York and Neil Mackenzie in London; Additional reporting by Christine Ridley. Editing by Elisa Martinuzzi and Daniel Wallis

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