How Crispin Odey Evaded Sexual Assault Allegations for Decades

Financial Times

The Financial Times investigation into celebrated British financier Crispin Odey marked the first time any media organisation has been able to hold the hedge fund manager to account.

The forensically reported investigation, running to 8,000 words, chronicled how Odey exploited his wealth, social status and political nous to intimidate and sexually abuse the women who came into his orbit over nearly 30 years. Until our explosive investigation was published, Odey was a symbol of British success in high finance, having befriended prime ministers and the dignitaries of the City of London, all while mixing with high society’s elite at balls and shooting weekends. In the process, his estimated wealth grew to more than £800m through canny bets on markets. That all came crashing down when the FT investigation, “How Crispin Odey evaded sexual assault allegations for decades”, was published on June 8 2023. The shocking detail of Odey’s behaviour over an extended period reverberated across the boardrooms of the world’s largest financial centres, prompting several heavyweight banks to cut ties with his firm. Large investors pulled their money and the firm’s partners quickly turned on Odey to expel him from the business he founded three decades ago. The investigation prompted MPs to urge Britain’s finance watchdog to explain what action it had taken to assess the risk Odey posed to his workforce. With the firm in crisis, it was forced to block investors from removing their money and to start dismantling the organisation. The investigation in effect triggered one of the swiftest implosions on record of a major British hedge fund. The FT investigation was not the first time Odey’s mistreatment of women had been reported. He was acquitted of one count of sexual assault at a trial in early 2021, and several women came forward to different publications following his acquittal. But their allegations were not taken seriously by the business community, the financial press, the regulator, the police or the ruling political class. Our investigation forced these bodies to sit up and take notice. This was because it featured the detailed firsthand accounts of 13 women who said they had been violently sexually assaulted or harassed by Odey as recently as December 2021. These women feared for their personal safety by speaking out against one of the UK’s richest men, but took that leap because of the compassionate reporting approach from the investigations team. The team has continued to doggedly pursue this story, contributing to another 20 articles documenting the demise of the financier and his corporate empire. This led to another investigation in July 2023 detailing further allegations of sexual assault and harassment by Mr Odey towards six women. The total number of female victims to have confided in the FT is now 20. The earliest allegation was a violent sexual assault by Odey in 1985, when he was in his mid-twenties. As one of his victims told the FT, our reporting has potentially unmasked the Harvey Weinstein of finance.