The finances of Rishi Sunak, Britain’s first Asian prime minister, and his family are under intense scrutiny.
As the new prime minister grapples with the rising cost of living in the UK, some people are wondering how a man of such wealth can feel about what the average person faces when making difficult economic decisions.
Many question the size of the Sunak family’s fortune, while the latter insists he is the right person for the job, pledging to act “with integrity and humility” and vowing “to do his best to serve the British “.
So what do we know about Sunak and his family’s fortunes, and why does it matter?
Richer than the royal family
When Sonak was tasked by King Charles III to form the new government, many on social media talked about how wealthy the couple was.
Sunak has not confirmed his net worth. But according to the “Sunday Times” list of the richest people in Britain, the fortune of former banker Sunak and his wife Akshata Murti; The heir to the Indian technology company, estimated at $ 830 million.
As for the fortune of the new king Charles III, it is not great compared to the wealth of the Sonak family, although he inherited much of the fortune of his mother, the late queen, which before her death was worth 420 million dollar is estimated. .
Akshata Murti, Sonak’s wife
Interest in Sunak’s fortune and his wife’s financial situation surfaced in April 2022.
Akshata Murti has announced that she will start paying her offshore company’s profits tax in the UK to ease political pressure on her husband.
This was revealed when Sunak (then finance minister) personally referred the matter to the prime minister’s integrity and conduct adviser after the opposition said he had not been upfront about his tax arrangements.
Sunak said he was confident he had followed all the necessary rules, but Labor said there were questions that needed to be answered by Sunak.
Rishi Sunak’s career
Sunak was born in Southampton in 1980 to Indian parents who immigrated from East Africa.
His father was a general practitioner, and his mother ran her own pharmacy. Educated at a private boarding school at Winchester College, he worked as a waiter at a curry restaurant in Southampton during his summer holidays.
He studied politics, philosophy and economics at the University of Oxford. He then earned an MBA at Stanford University in California, where he met Akshata Murti.
Sunak worked as an analyst at the investment bank Goldman & Sachs between 2001 and 2004 and then became a partner in two hedge funds (an investment fund that uses advanced investment policies and instruments to achieve returns that exceed the average market return or a certain profit standard exceed without taking the same level of risk).
In 2015, Sunak entered the Parliament of Richmond, North Yorkshire, serving as Foreign Secretary in the government of former Prime Minister Theresa May.
He was then appointed finance minister by former prime minister Boris Johnson before being promoted to finance minister in February 2020.
As Prime Minister, Sunak will receive an annual salary of approximately $185,000.
The Prime Minister’s income consists of two parts, the first for the position of head of government and the other for membership of Parliament.
As an MP and former finance minister, Sunak receives about $171,640.
As prime minister, he also receives an annual allowance of $130,160, to cover the costs of carrying out public duties.
That sounds like a lot to the average person, but it’s less compared to some other world leaders, like the president of the United States, who has an annual salary of $400,000.
Personal wealth and funds prudence
Before entering politics, Rishi Sunak was a partner in two highly profitable hedge funds, and is now believed to be one of the richest members of parliament in the UK.
According to the Times, Sunak was “a millionaire in his mid-20s” but had never spoken publicly about his wealth.
He has previously come under fire from Britain’s Labor Party for donating more than £100,000 to his former school to fund scholarships for children who cannot afford to attend.
Labor asked a number of questions including: Did Sunak benefit from the use of tax havens?
The Independent hinted that he had turned to tax havens, publishing a report stating that in 2020 he was listed as a beneficiary of funds in the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands.
But a spokesman for Sunak said they had “not seen such allegations”.
British politicians with portfolios of stocks and investments create “anonymous funds” when they hold public office. This allows them to continue to earn income from their investments without knowing where the funds are invested.
The aim is to remove the suspicion of conflict of interest when they make economic policy decisions that may make them more profit, but this practice is controversial.
Sunak stated that he set up an anonymous fund on the list of ministers’ interests in 2019 when he held a senior post at the UK Treasury.
Labor says Sunak is the first minister to declare ownership of an investment fund since the establishment of the Register of Ministerial Interests, and the party has questioned whether such an arrangement should be allowed.
The opposition party called on Sunak to publish details about the contents of this fund, and to reveal whether the fund has changed its status and performance since he became finance minister in February 2020.
The Ministry of Finance said Sunak “completely followed all ministerial rules”.
Former Prime Minister Theresa May had an unidentified fund, but David Cameron told MPs in 2016 that he believed it was “easier and better to sell everything than to set up a trust before leaving office accept”.
The Sunak family owns many properties.
Sunak bought a house in the village of Kirby Sigston, near Northallerton, in his Richmond constituency, for £1.5m in 2015.
He also owns a five-bedroom house in South Kensington which sold for £4.5 million in 2010.
The couple also own a flat in South Kensington. And an apartment overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, California in the United States.
Sunak previously used a state-owned flat in Downing Street and a country house in Buckinghamshire.
As prime minister, he can now move to the prime minister’s residence in Downing Street.
Akshata Murti’s Career and Family Fortune
Akshata, is an heir to a multi-billion dollar fortune. Born and raised in an Indian family, Murti has many businesses, interests and money with a penchant for entrepreneurship.
Soon after her birth in 1980, she was sent to live with her paternal grandparents as her parents, Sudha Murti and Narayana Murthy, went to Mumbai to pursue their careers.
A year later, Murthy co-founded Infosys IT Services, making him one of India’s richest people. His daughter will build her fortune on his legacy.
Morty was educated in the United States, where she studied economics and French at Claremont McKenna, a private liberal arts college in California. She then earned a diploma from a fashion college before working for companies such as Deloitte and Unilever and earning an MBA from Stanford University.
The couple – who have two daughters – met at Stanford University and married in 2009.
Under Murthy’s management, Infosys has become one of the largest companies in India, currently operating in around 50 countries, including the UK, where it has contracts with the public sector.
Headquartered in Bangalore, the company reported revenue of more than $11.8 billion in 2019, $12.8 billion in 2020 and $13.5 billion in 2021.
Murthy resigned as chairman of the board in 2011, but he still owns a modest portion of the company’s shares. According to the company’s latest annual report, he owns 0.39% of its shares.
He has served on corporate boards around the world, including multinational banks such as HSBC and ICIC. He is also the chairman of Catamaran Ventures, an investment firm that manages more than $1 billion in assets.
According to Forbes estimates, his net worth is $4.98 billion.
His wife, Sudha, is the president of Infosys, a non-profit organization that supports charitable initiatives. Known for her charity work and literary writing, she published her novel Dollar Baho (Penthouse Dollar), which was adapted into a television series.
Shares in Infosys
Morty’s stake in Infosys has become the subject of controversy due to its continued operations in Russia following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The company told the BBC it was closing its office in Russia.
But the money Sunak’s wife makes from her shares in the company returned to the spotlight when she confirmed her tax record was outside Britain.
Infosys’ latest annual report shows that Morty owns a 0.9 percent stake in Infosys. The value of his stake varies but is estimated to be worth around $792 million.
Morty receives annual dividends on these shares, and last year it was about $13.1 million.
Morty will pay UK income tax on these earnings in future.
British catamaran projects
One of the main businesses of the London-based Catamaran Ventures subsidiary is investing in new ventures.
Ms Morty’s LinkedIn profile says the company cares about “British brands that need capital, management expertise and network partners to grow strategically”.
She and her husband, Sunak, founded this branch of the company in 2013. Sunak gave up the position of company president in 2015 when he became an MP and a year later his wife became the majority shareholder.
In 2020, the company said that its investments amounted to $3.96 million, compared to $1.7 million in 2019.
Other UK companies
Ms Morty owns several other companies in the UK. According to the corporate register, she is the director of Digme Fitness, a paid gym chain.
The company was placed into administration in February this year after revenues fell during the coronavirus pandemic.
Her Linkedin profile says she is also the manager of New & Lingwood, which sells luxury menswear, including silk pajamas costing hundreds of pounds.