💰Odey is a London-based hedge fund manager who has played a major role in funding the Brexit campaign. After the referendum, it was reported that Odey was one of the five major donors who had contributed £14.9m out of the total £24.1m in donations and loans given to the Leave campaigns in the five months leading up to the referendum. Since then, it seems that Odey has enjoyed special access to Brexit ministers – helped, Labour has suggested, by his generous donations to the Conservative Party.
On hearing about the referendum result, Odey said: “I feel fantastic. It’s a fantastic decision by the electorate.” Odey had a special reason to feel “fantastic”. He’d bet on Brexit hitting the pound by “shorting” sterling and moving 65% of his fund into gold in anticipation. Odey’s fund made £220 million in the space of a few hours. As he said at the time: “I think I may be the winner.”
It has been claimed that several of Nigel Farage‘s supporters also made tidy sums by shorting the pound and UK stocks, and were helped to do so by Farage’s surprising statement early on the night of the referendum that it “looks like Remain will edge it”.
According to Sunday Times political editor Tim Shipman, Farage had already been told of the results of a large private exit poll commissioned by “10 different financial institutions and hedge funds that wanted the best information money could buy in order to construct their trading positions” – and this poll had indicated a win for Leave. It is not known whether Odey’s was among the funds that commissioned the poll.
Despite his financial support for Brexit, Odey controversially warned his clients just a few months later to prepare for a recession and higher inflation in wake of the shock Leave vote. He continues to draw attention from financial commentators for his ongoing “doubts about the pound and UK assets” post-Brexit.
The Sunday Times estimated the joint wealth of Odey and his current wife, Nichola Pease, at around £1.1bn as of April 2015.
Odey was previously married to Rupert Murdoch’s daughter, Prudence.
Somerset Capital Management, the investment firm set up by Jacob Rees-Mogg in 2007, initially operated under the wing of Odey’s hedge fund, Odey Asset Management. Odey has since funded Rees-Mogg’s election campaign.