British hedge fund titan Crispin Odey’s 2017 was even worse than we thought

Crispin Odey.

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Crispin Odey.
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YouTube/Screengrab

  • Profits at Odey Asset Management drop by around 60% in the year to April 5.
  • Bearish bets against bonds and assets inflated by recent loose monetary policy have so far failed to pay off.
  • Crispin Odey was a prominent supporter of the campaign to leave the European Union in last year’s referendum.

LONDON – Crispin Odey, one of the most recognisable names in the British hedge fund industry, has suffered a fresh setback after it was reported that his fund’s profits have more than halved.

According to The Times, which cites the firms accounts, profits at Odey Asset Management dropped from £44.23 million to £18.6 million in the year to April 5. That’s even further down from the £84 million profits the firm reported in the 2015 financial year.

Odey Asset Management was founded by Crispin Odey, an investor famed for his successful trading of the financial crisis. The firm’s OEI Mac fund delivered 43.4% in 2008 as shorts against banks paid off.

Odey’s profits have been hit hard by the fund’s poor performance over the course of the last year, as Crispin Odey’s bearish world view contrasts with rally assets around the world.

The hedge fund manager believes the world is heading for another crash, driven by loose monetary policy and Chinese debt, but his bets against bonds and assets inflated by recent loose monetary policy have so far failed to pay off.

That has led to a major drop in the overall assets under management in Odey’s funds, which have fallen from £7.7 billion to £4.55 billion, according to The Times. Earlier this year, Business Insider reported that Odey’s AUM was around £4.1 billion.

With performance struggling, the amount Odet Asset Management has been able to command in fees has also dropped sharply, with performance fees fall from £19.2 million to only £60,000. As recently as 2014, Odey’s funds commanded performance fees totalling £143 million.

Odey was a prominent supporter of the campaign to leave the European Union in last year’s referendum. He was one of the founders of the “Vote Leave” group, which became the official Brexit campaign, and is donated just over £500,000 to the cause.

A fund manager at Odey Asset Management reportedly made £110 million betting against the pound in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote but Odey himself has been bearish on the vote’s economic effects, warning clients last year of likely recession in Britain and a collapse in stock values.