March 25, 2023

Research Editorial


Britain’s first Prime Minister of Indian descent is Rishi Sunak!

4 min read
Rishi Sunak is set to become Britain's next prime minister after winning the Conservative leadership election.
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25/10/2022. London, United Kingdom. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrives in Downing Street. Picture by Lauren Hurley / No 10 Downing Street

Rishi Sunak is set to become Britain’s next prime minister after winning the Conservative leadership election. This makes him the most powerful person in the country. The 42-year-old former Treasury Secretary and investment banker are already one of the richest people in the UK, thanks largely to the wealth of his wife Akshata Murthy.

The 42-year-old Murthy is the daughter of N.R. Narayana Murthy, co-founder and former chairman of the Indian tech giant Infosys, which Forbes values at $4.5 billion. The great majority of her and Sunak’s combined wealth consists of her own $715 million 0.93% ownership in the publicly traded digital services consulting company. More than a quarter of a billion dollars wealthier than the $500 million personal fortune of King Charles III, Forbes estimates Sunak and his wife Murthy to be worth about $810 million. An inquiry for comment was not immediately answered by Sunak or Murthy.

As the new Prime Minister, Sunak will now move to 10 Downing Street, next to his former residence when he was Prime Minister for Boris Johnson from February 2020 until July this year. He will also have access to Checkers, the 16th-century incumbent Prime Minister’s campaign retreat in Buckinghamshire.

The largest property in their collection is the Manor House, a heritage-listed two-story 19th-century country mansion in the village of Kirby Sigston in North Yorkshire, which they purchased in July 2015 for 2.3. millions of dollars. The couple are said to have spent $450,000 setting up a recreation center with a 40ft pool, gym, and outdoor tennis court. In London, their main residence is 16 Hesper Mews in upscale Kensington, a four-bedroom townhouse they bought for $7.1 million in 2010. Sunak also owns an apartment on Old Brompton Road. , in nearby South Kensington, which he bought for about $300,000. in September 2001. In California, where Sunak and Murthy met as students at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, they are said to own a beachfront penthouse at 1705 Ocean Ave. in Santa Monica, worth $7.5 million.

Research Editorial_Rishi Sunak_Manor House

Murthy faced scrutiny over her tax status earlier this year when Sunak served as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Britain’s finance minister, and No 2 job in government. As an Indian citizen, Murthy is a tax resident of her country and she confirmed in April that she has ‘non-resident’ status in the UK, which allows her to avoid taxes on dividends and capital gains in the UK. Through a spokeswoman, Murthy told the BBC she pays around $34,000 a year to maintain the status, a fee charged if a person has lived in the UK for at least seven of the previous nine years.

Forbes estimates Murthy earned $70 million (before taxes) in dividends from Infosys between 2015 and 2022, plus $17 million from the December 2017 stock sale. India taxes dividends and interest. long-term capital at 10%, compared with 20% on capital gains and 39.35% dividends for the top earners. That means Murthy could have saved around $22 million in taxes by taking advantage of India’s lower tax rate. Following public outcry, his spokesman announced in April that Murty would begin paying UK tax on his gross income, including dividends and capital gains, “immediately” and for the previous tax year.

Murthy has also invested in his native India through a company in Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean often described as a tax haven. It holds a 5% stake in International Market Management, a British company that owns 100% of the shares of Mauritian Immassociates Mauritius. According to a Guardian investigation, Immassociates Mauritius owns 50% of Sierra Nevada Restaurants, an Indian company that operates four Wendy`s restaurants in New Delhi, as well as 100% of Dolomite Restaurants, which owns 11 franchises in New Delhi. India by famous British chef Jamie Oliver,restaurant chain’s. Investing through a Mauritius-based company may have allowed the company’s shareholders to limit capital gains and share tax bills, according to an expert analysis from the Internal Revenue Service of India.

Born in Southampton to parents of Indian descent from East Africa, Sunak attended the exclusive boarding school of the University of Winchester and served as a waitress at an Indian restaurant during the summer holidays. He then studied politics, philosophy, and economics at Oxford University, before starting a three-year stint at Goldman Sachs. After earning his MBA at Stanford in 2006, he later became a partner at the London-based hedge fund The Children’s Investment Fund (TCIF), founded and run by billionaire Chris Hohn.

Sunak left TCIF in 2009 to join Santa Monica-based Theleme Partners, a fund founded by former TCIF co-founder Patrick Degorce. Sunak owns less than 5% of the company, which has $2.2 billion in assets under management according to the last available disclosure form filed in February 2013. He left Theleme in 2013 to found Catamaran Ventures UK with his wife, Akshata.

It’s not clear how much Sunak has earned in the financial sector, but his new prime ministership comes with a huge pay rise: he’ll now earn more than $185,000 a year, nearly double the $95,000 his him as a congressman.

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