FCA quizzes platforms on offering Odey funds to retail investors

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The UK’s high monetary regulator is urgent funding platforms together with AJ Bell, Hargreaves Lansdown and Halifax on their continued providing of funds from Odey Asset Administration to retail traders, folks aware of the state of affairs advised the Monetary Instances.

A string of funds have already been suspended within the fallout from sexual misconduct allegations in opposition to the hedge fund agency’s founder, Crispin Odey.

The allegations led to his ousting from the agency he based in 1991 and have prompted banks that offered key companies to the hedge fund to sever ties. He strenuously denies the allegations.

Odey Asset Administration, which managed about $4.4bn earlier than the scandal hit, is within the technique of breaking itself up by promoting off funds and the agency stays the topic of a two-year-old investigation by the Monetary Conduct Authority into company governance points.

In accordance with folks aware of the state of affairs, the FCA contacted funding platforms this month about their continued providing of funds branded underneath Odey’s identify, or underneath Brook, the identify given to funds managed by different companions of Odey Asset Administration, together with Oliver Kelton and James Hanbury.

One particular person aware of the discussions mentioned the FCA wished the funding platforms to clarify how persevering with to supply the funds was in one of the best pursuits of their shoppers, given the problems at Odey Asset Administration.

Odey Asset Administration declined to remark.

Dangers going through retail traders — who could not have heard about Odey Asset Administration’s difficulties — embody attainable additional suspensions and restrictions on withdrawals.

An individual at one funding platform mentioned there had “been a dialog” with the FCA concerning the continued presence of Odey-related funds however that the regulator was not “difficult” the platform’s strategy.

An individual at one other platform mentioned whereas the funds have been on provide, their platform had not bought a single Odey funding for the reason that FT first reported the allegations in opposition to Crispin Odey on June 8. “These are comparatively specialist funds and are held by only a few prospects,” the particular person added.

A fourth mentioned their platform had not eliminated the funds as a result of there was a “protocol” for taking funds offline. This had not been activated “as [the] FCA [is] monitoring the state of affairs, [is] eager to stabilise and can advise us and different platforms on subsequent steps”.

The platforms provide the funds on a supermarket-style platform the place DIY traders can choose and select their holdings, slightly than selling or recommending them, which means that traders must seek for them to purchase.

The FCA’s conversations with the platforms had been wider than asking about why Odey and Brook funds have been nonetheless out there for buy, in line with a number of folks aware of the state of affairs.

The watchdog has additionally been asking for info on the extent of shopping for and promoting of the funds, and has been speaking to platforms concerning the orderly switch of any funds which might be being bought by Odey Asset Administration to 3rd events.

The FCA, Halifax, Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell all declined to remark.

Odey Asset Administration mentioned this week that it was in “superior talks” about transferring 4 funds run by Kelton to funding boutique SW Mitchell Capital. Odey Asset Administration can also be attempting to maneuver sure different funds, and portfolio managers, to new house owners.

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