George Soros, Crispin Odey Among Brexit's Big Winners

Jun 24 2016 | 3:40pm ET

Not everyone is dismayed by the carnage on global financial markets following Britain’s decision: George Soros and Crispin Odey could end up among the biggest winners from the vote and subsequent reaction. 

Hedge funds either reduced exposure or were broadly positioned for a “remain vote”, according to numerous industry observers including Lyxor Asset Management. Partly in anticipation of the binary event, recent surveys of fund manager cash levels showed a significant amount of dry powder laid aside in anticipation of bargains being available after the vote regardless of which way it went. 

Some managers, however, nailed it going in. George Soros, who became famously rich by a bet against sterling in 1992 which resulted in the ejection of Britain’s currency from the European ERM, looks to make a killing this time around as well. Soros recently detailed his expectations for a Brexit and revealed long positions in gold stocks (including large stakes in Barrick Gold and Silver Wheaton) and short positions in a variety of equities in the U.K. and elsewhere. With gold up strongly and equity markets around the world reeling, Soros stands to make a great deal of money from Britain once again.

Hedge fund manager Crispin Odey also stands to do very well. Odey, who’s firm managed more than $10 billion and who strongly backed the Brexit movement, was heavily short financial markets and also long gold heading into the vote. 

His flagship Odey European hedge fund was reportedly up more than 15% on Friday, according to Bloomberg data. The gain will be a much-needed boost for the money manager, a macro shop which has suffered greatly over the past year. Before today, the European fund was down more than 25% for the year to date. It lost 12.8% in 2015.

In late April, Odey – who is one of Britain’s richest men and was once briefly married to Rupert Murdoch’s daughter - was among 100 executives from Britain’s financial industry who signed a letter backing Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.


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