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Man who foresaw credit crunch pays himself £28m

Irish Independant – The fund manager who predicted that the credit crunch would rip a hole through the banking sector has been rewarded with £28m (€35m) in pay and bonuses.

Crispin Odey trousered the bulk of the profits made by his Odey Asset Management Group after a hugely successful year with profits soaring from £16m to £55m. Mr Odey, 49, the founder, paid himself £28m. His 11 partners shared the other £27m.

The performance was driven by the flagship hedge fund Odey European Inc, which generated returns of 55 per cent, and is up 15 per cent in the first half of 2008. Launched in 1992, it is one of the longest established hedge funds in Europe, delivering an annual average return of 14.2 per cent.

The fund made millions from the risky practice of going short on bank stocks – selling shares not already owned in the hope they can be bought back at a lower price later. David Stewart, chief executive officer for Odey Asset Management, said: "We went short of banks and financials because we expected them to have a difficult time. We were long of agricultural and other commodity companies which did well and helped to boost overall performance."

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