Who were Crispin Odey's top fund managers?
Odey Asset Management is not having a great time.
After the Financial Times’ groundbreaking report on its founder’s history of sexual harassment, which is alleged to stretch back decades, a storm of reactions have come to the hedge fund from clients and partners. JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley, the fund’s prime brokers (they lend it money for big bets), have served notice and distanced themselves from the firm.
But it’s hard to guess what’s happening next. The hedge fund said that it would be broken up earlier today, but it’s not clear what’s being “sold or rehoused”, and to who. Odey Asset Management (OAM) operated 16 different funds as of earlier this month, headed up seven different individuals, six of which are men.
A number run funds under “Brook Asset Management” brand. This subsidiary was set up in the same month as Crispin Odey stepped down from his co-CEO position, court case looming – it was, among other things, a hedge against him losing in court and causing PR issues.
So, who are the heirs?
James Hanbury is a notable one. He runs (ran) five funds under the Odey umbrella, four of them under Brook branding. Hanbury joined OAM in 2008 from ZA Capital, a short-lived fund set up by a top Schroders trader, Zafar Ahmadullah, in 2005. Hanbury was himself with Schroders himself before joining Ahmadullah – he joined the hedge fund after graduating in 2003.
Oliver Kelton is another – he ran four funds for Odey, three of which were under the Brook subsidiary. Kelton joined the empire of Odey in 2015, after an extensive career with Waverton Investment Management, a London-based hedge fund, which he joined some 15 years before.
Freddie Neave is another big name. Running three funds, all under Odey naming (ouch), he was with Goldman for a year before joining OAM. Neave started his career with Cazenove, a secretive (and thoroughly aristocratic) stockbroker and boutique investment bank in London.
Although she only runs one fund, Sophia Whitbread has the distinction of being the only woman in our list. The chief of Brook Asset Management, she joined the Odey empire in 2021 from Newton Investment Management, a subsidiary of BNY Mellon. Except for a brief stint at Baille Gifford, she had been at Newton her entire career.
Geoff Marson joined Odey, where he is (was) the chief of Odey Wealth Management, another subsidiary of OAM, in 2008 – the same year the subsidiary was founded. He was a director at Credit Suisse before joining Odey, based in Guernsey, and with the (also, coincidentally, dying) bank for nearly 15 years. He also held a non-executive director role at a Cazenove fund.
The CEO of OAM, Peter Martin, joined the fund in 2009 from Rothschild, where he was an MD and chief investment officer for the UK. Before Rothschild (and two brief stints at an asset manager and a boutique), Martin also held a role in Cazenove as an investment manager.
Adrian Courtenay is the last of the Diadochi on our list. The head of the Odey special situations fund, he led the fund through, among other opportunities, Brexit. He joined Odey from rival hedge D.E. Shaw back in 2016, where he was a VP.
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