(Bloomberg) -- Crispin Odey is celebrating his best ever year of gains since he started his hedge fund three decades ago.

His flagship European Inc. hedge fund surged 152% last year, powered mainly by his highly leveraged short wagers on long-dated UK government bonds as inflation and political turmoil roiled the British economy, according to an investor document seen by Bloomberg. 

A spokesman for London-based Odey Asset Management declined to comment.

The returns mark a stunning comeback for Odey, 63, who has now fully recouped losses accumulated between 2015 and 2020 when his bearish wagers repeatedly failed to pay off. The fund was up as much as 193% last year but gave up some of the gains during the fourth quarter, another document shows.

The rebound, however, comes as most of his investors are gone. His hedge fund, which once had $1.8 billion in assets at its peak in 2015, is down to €326 million ($346 million) as of the end of November.

Just when returns might have lured some of them back, Odey closed the fund and two others to new clients, citing a desire to keep assets low. The bulk of the firm’s funds are now run by other portfolio managers, and a number of them have dropped Odey’s name and housed within an entity called Brook Asset Management. Among them are funds managed by James Hanbury and Oliver Kelton.

The money manager joins a group of macro hedge funds, such as those managed by Said Haidar and Chris Rokos, seeing their fortunes turn as central banks roll back years of quantitative easing to control soaring inflation. 

Odey had built up a huge short wager against UK government bonds mostly related to two U.K. government securities that mature in 2050 and 2061. At one point, the bet totaled almost 800% of the net asset value of his hedge fund. 

The position turned in profits as inflationary pressures soared in the UK and around the world. The fund manager has since reduced the size of that trade to about 200% of the fund’s net asset value as of the end of November, according to the investor document. Macro hedge funds were up about 2% on average through November last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.


(Updates with details on assets under management from the fifth paragraph)

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