Odey Forms Investment Firm With Geneva's Bruellan as Bank Secrecy Erodes

Odey Asset Management, the London- based hedge fund run by Crispin Odey, has formed a joint-venture with Geneva’s Bruellan Wealth Management to target private clients in Switzerland.

Both firms will market Odey Bruellan in Switzerland as the erosion of banking secrecy increases pressure on funds to improve performance, Crispin Odey said. The venture will invest in Odey’s Opportunity Fund, which advanced 4.9 percent in the four months through April, after gaining 17 percent last year, according to Bloomberg data.

“The easy position for Swiss banks is no longer there,” Odey said today at a presentation in Geneva. “That’s a great opportunity for us because there’s a perception that Switzerland has great advantages but it needs to provide returns.”

Odey, a former fund manager at Baring Asset Management, manages about 6 billion pounds ($9 billion) after starting Odey Asset Management in 1991. Bruellan, founded the same year, manages more than 1 billion Swiss francs ($912 million) with offices in the Swiss Alpine resorts of Crans-Montana, Gstaad and Verbier, according to its website.

“While the U.K. and Europe steadily destroy their financial services businesses with high taxes and high regulation, Switzerland is going the other way,” Odey said.

The joint-venture is scheduled to last until December 2012 with both Odey and Bruellan continuing to operate separately over that period.

“After that, we’ll see,” said Antoine Spillmann, a partner at Bruellan. “We could have had Odey take a 50% stake, but every love story can end badly so we prefer to do things in two steps.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Warren Giles in Geneva at wgiles@bloomberg.net

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