(Sharecast News) – The City regulator is investigating whether hedge fund manager Crispin Odey is a “fit and proper person” to work in financial services, it emerged on Wednesday.
In a letter to the Treasury Select Committee, Nikhil Rathi, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, confirmed that both Odey and the firm he founded, Odey Asset Management, were the subject of numerous investigations.
As well as assessing if Odey was a fit and proper person to work in the City, the regulator said it was investigating allegations that he dismissed OAM’s executive committee “for an improper purpose”, and if he had failed to comply with the FCA’s conduct rules relating to intregrity and acting with due skill, care and diligence.
Odey fired OAM’s executive committee in 2021.
The FCA is also investigating if OAM itself failed to take reasonable care to organise and control its affairs responsibly, with adequate risk management systems and controls.
OAM was thrown into crisis last month after a Financial Times investigation detailed allegations of sexual assault or harassment from 13 woman against Odey, 64, over a 25-year period.
OAM, which was forced to gate a number of funds amid a surge in withdrawal requests, ousted Odey and is now effectively being dismantled. Odey strenuously denies all allegations against him.
Rathi told Harriett Baldwin MP, chair of the Treasury Select Committee, that as some of the allegations against Odey were potentially criminal in nature, the FCA had been in contact with the police. He added that its investigations were opened in mid-2021, with its supervision of the firm “intensive” since 2020.
He also confirmed that when it first opened its investigation, Odey had, via lawyers, threatened a judicial review. “We responded robustly to this,” he wrote. “In the event, court proceedings were not commenced and we continued to investigate.”