Brexit-backing hedge-fund manager loses £125m – because of Brexit

Crispin Odey was one of the most prominent supporters of the Leave campaign, donating more than £870,000 to pro-Brexit groups

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A Brexit-backing hedge-fund manager personally lost £125m last year as his pessimistic bets on the UK economy went wrong.

Crispin Odey was one of the most prominent supporters of the Leave campaign, donating more than £870,000 to pro-Brexit groups. He also bet huge amounts of money on the UK economy tanking in the aftermath of a Leave vote. So far, it has held up better than expected.

Mr Odey, who manages about £6.5bn for clients of Odey Asset Management, saw his fund lose 49.5 per cent of its value in 2016.

The Sunday Times estimates that his fortune has declined by £125m as a result. The hedge-fund manager may not lose too much sleep over the paper losses, however – he still has around £775m in the bank.

Mr Odey predicted UK stocks would lose up to 80 per cent of their value amid a recession and higher inflation. The FTSE 100 has since surged to record highs.

He was in a very different position the day after the Brexit vote as markets and the pound temporarily crashed, leaving him £220m richer.

Mr Odey hailed his own performance at the time, saying: “This is a good day for me. I was brave. I had a lot of clients who were angry with me but they won’t be quite so angry this morning. Life is not about being unbrave at the right time. We in the City have certain skills.”

“There’s that Italian expression,” he told the BBC. “‘Al mattino ha l’oro in bocca’ – the morning has gold in its mouth – and never has one felt so much that idea as this morning really.”

Mr Odey has been a vocal critic of central banks’ intervention in the world economy. In a letter to investors last October he blamed Bank of England Governor Mark Carney for soaring import prices. By keeping interest rates low, Mr Carney exacerbated the fall in the value of the pound, which has increased inflation, Mr Odey said.

Comments