American Banks Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase Consider Cutting Ties with Crispin Odey Fund Amid Sexual Assault Accusations

2023-06-08 16:09:59

(LONDON) American banks Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase are considering cutting their financial relations with the fund of wealthy British investor Crispin Odey following accusations of sexual assault, sources familiar with the matter told AFP on Thursday.

JPMorgan Chase in particular “is studying (its) relationship with Odey Asset Management (AM) in the light of the accusations in the FT”, the Financial Times, Thursday, indicated a source close to the American bank.

Another source, close to Morgan Stanley, also confirmed reports from the financial press indicating that the bank wanted to cut its financial ties with Mr Odey’s hedge fund.

These distancings follow the publication of an article by the FT on Thursday reporting that eight women accuse the investor, known in particular for having bet against the pound during the Brexit vote, of having sexually assaulted them.

Five other women accuse the financier, one of the best known in the UK, of harassment, according to the FT.

Spokespersons for Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase did not comment on this information. Spokespersons for Crispin Odey did not respond to AFP requests for comment, as did a law firm that worked for him.

Another firm, Simmons & Simmons, declined to comment.

Mr Odey had been acquitted in 2021 in a lawsuit brought by a woman who was suing him for sexual assault in the late 1980s.

He is quoted in the FT article, describing the accusations against him as “idiocy”.

The businessman, a major donor to the Conservative Party, has already been targeted by accusations of sexual assault reported in the British press, including the financial news agency Bloomberg, the Sunday Times and the Tortoise Media podcast.

Mr. Odey, known for his pro-Brexit positions, founded Odey Asset Management in 1991, and previously worked for Barings Bank.

These accusations come as the British business world is rocked by accusations of harassment and sexual assault, including two rapes, targeting former executives and leaders of the CBI, the country’s main employers’ union.

The FT also wrote on Thursday, citing sources familiar with the matter, that the FCA, Britain’s market watchdog, is investigating Mr Odin’s fund because of the allegations against him.

A spokeswoman reached by AFP was content to say that the regulator “does not comment on specific companies or individuals”.

“However, we take allegations of improper non-financial conduct very seriously and expect companies to have governance procedures in place to ensure that (such) allegations […] are properly reviewed,” the spokesperson added in a statement.

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