LONDON — A fund run by famed London investor Crispin Odey had one of its worst years ever in 2016, according to an investor letter seen by Business Insider.
Odey Asset Management’s OEI Mac fund, which is managed by the hedge fund’s founder Crispin Odey, declined in value by 49% in 2016, according to Odey’s December letter to investors.
That marks the fund’s worst performance since 1994, according to historical data included in the letter. Odey’s fund lost 40.7% of its value in 1994 after the Federal Reserve unexpectedly raised interest rates.
Odey Asset Management did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
The OEI Mac fund is Odey’s main European fund and aims to “achieve long-term capital appreciation” through bets on stocks, currencies, and bonds.
Odey’s fund delivered negative returns in every month from July to December in 2016, the letter shows, but also suffered big losses in February and March, including a 24.4% slump in the later month.
The performance marks the second difficult year in a row for Odey. Data in the letter shows the OEI Mac fund lost 21.3% of its value in 2015.
Odey Asset Management is one of London’s best-known hedge funds and manages over $7 billion in client money. Its founder, Crispin Odey, is famed for his successful trading of the financial crisis, delivering 43.4% growth of the OEI Mac fund in 2008.
Odey was a prominent supporter of the campaign to leave the European Union in last year’s referendum. He was one of the founders of the “Vote Leave” group, which became the official Brexit campaign, and is donated just over £500,000 to the cause.
A fund manager at Odey Asset Management reportedly made £110 million betting against the pound in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote but Odey himself has been bearish on the vote’s economic effects, warning clients last year of likely recession in Britain and a collapse in stock values. This bleak outlook has led Odey to place large bets on another looming crash, as the Financial Times reports. So far, these have yet to pay off.
Odey attacks global productivity issues in December’s letter to investors and blames economists and central bankers for fomenting problems. He writes: “What started out as a temporary last resort has become the only way to keep things going.
“By keeping asset prices high and encouraging them to go higher, by underwriting these prices, the rich have got richer without it helping the economy. So now the politics starts to get messy. The Haves against the Have Nots. “
He closes the letter saying: “This economic cycle is now 7 years old. It has become old, but like King Lear, not wise.”
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