Now that Madonna has classed up the joint—and spent 20-plus years cobbling together 6,000 square […]
What motivates a hedge fund manager to continue busting his ass to churn out profits year after year, once he’s already amassed a fortune most people can’t even fathom, when he could easily pack it all in and live more than comfortably without ever working another day? For some, it’s the thrill. For others, it’s the trophy’s wife’s shoe habit. For Crispin Odey, it’s the chickens.
The Odey Asset Management founder (and sausage brand ambassador)’s got a mess of high-maintenance ones and earlier this year, had architects draft blueprints of a “Palladian-style” mansion he intended to build them (seen at left), replete with a grey zinc roof, “pediments, cornice, architrave, and frieze in English oak,” and columns “hewn from the finest grey Forest of Dean standstone.” After finishing 2011 down 20.3%, things were no doubt more than a little tense over in Herefordshire, where questions of whether or not construction would have to be halted, or if they’d have to make the switch to [whispers] generic-brand feed. Certainly a moment of panic swept over Odey each day when he returned home, wondering as he turned the knob if he’d be entering an empty house, the chickens gone and a note explaining they couldn’t do this anymore on the fridge. Ran off with the general contractor because what was the point of shacking up with a money manger if the money wasn’t there? Luckily for all parties involved, it won’t have to come to that; according to Bloomberg Markets’ annual ranking of the top performing hedge funds, performing under pressure is one of Odey’s specialities.
Book excerpt: Adam Baldwin’s “Heroes and Villains of Finance” is a fascinating dive into the history of money as an institution, highlighting the fifty most significant figures that, rightly or wrongly, are responsible for the financial landscape we live in today.