Rishi Sunak will become the wealthiest ever prime minister of the U.K., with his family’s personal fortune surpassing even that of the royals.
Sunak, 42, is breaking plenty of ground as he becomes the country’s third premier in under two months. He’s the U.K.’s youngest leader since 1812, as well as the first person of color to serve in the role.
But Sunak’s personal wealth is also grabbing outsized attention, especially as he takes the helm at a time the U.K. is facing an economic crisis he described as “profound” in his first address as prime minister. Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty are worth a combined $837 million (or 730 million pounds), according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
Before her death, Queen Elizabeth was estimated to have a personal net worth of $424 million (370 million pounds), according to the Sunday Times.
Sunak and his wife will become the wealthiest residents of No. 10 Downing Street, the residence of the prime minister, surpassing that of the previous record holder. That was Edward Stanley, the 14th Earl of Derby, who served as prime minister three times in the 1800s and was worth about $509 million in today’s dollars, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Source of wealth
Sunak’s grandparents immigrated from India to East Africa, where his mother and father were born — in Tanzania and Kenya, respectively — according to Encyclopedia Britannica. His parents met in England after they immigrated there in the 1960s, his father becoming a doctor and his mother a pharmacist.
Born in 1980, Sunak attended the exclusive boarding school, Winchester College, where he was the editor of the school newspaper and the “head boy,” which is a leadership role for students in the U.K. He then went on to college at Oxford University and, after graduating, worked at Goldman Sachs for several years.
Sunak left Goldman to pursue an MBA at Stanford University, where he met his wife, the daughter of billionaire Narayana Murty, the cofounder of Indian technology services company, whose worth Forbes pegs at $4.5 billion.
After Stanford, Sunak held roles with various hedge funds. His assets are greatly buoyed by his wife’s almost 1% stake in Infosys, which has a market value of about $77 billion.
Tax, green card issues
Sunak and his wife earlier this year aroused public scrutiny over their taxes, when reports surfaced that his wife held a “non-domiciled” status that allowed her to avoid U.K. taxes on foreign earnings.
Murty changed her tax status, but Sunak was dogged by another issue: He held a green card to work in the U.S. while serving as an MP and later as Chancellor of the Exchequer under former Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Critics suggested he was keeping his options open, portraying him as unpatriotic. Sunak gave up the green card in October 2021, according to reports.
At a recent event, Sunak said he didn’t believe people should hold his wealth against him.
“I think in our country, we judge people not by their bank account, we judge them by their character and their actions,” he said, according to Reuters. “And yes, I’m really fortunate to be in the situation I’m in now, but I wasn’t born like this.”
GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings