Sunak, 42, is making significant strides as the third premier of the nation in less than two months. He is the first person of color to hold the position of prime minister in the UK since 1812.
However, Sunak’s personal riches is also attracting a lot of attention, particularly given that he enters office as prime minister when the U.K. is going through an economic crisis that he called “deep” in his inaugural speech. According to the Sunday Times Rich List, Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty are both worth $837 million (or 730 million pounds).
The Sunday Times reported that Queen Elizabeth’s estimated personal net worth before her death was $424 million (370 million pounds).
Sunak and his wife will overtake the previous record holder to become the richest inhabitants of No. 10 Downing Street, the prime minister’s home. The Guinness Book of World Records estimates that Edward Stanley, the 14th Earl of Derby, was worth nearly $509 million in today’s money and served as the country’s prime minister three times in the 1800s.
Origin of riches
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Sunak’s grandfather emigrated from India to East Africa, where his mother and father were born, in Tanzania and Kenya, respectively. Following their 1960s immigration to England, where his mother worked as a pharmacist and his father as a doctor, his parents eventually met.
Sunak, who was born in 1980, went to Winchester College, a prestigious boarding school, where he served as the newspaper editor and “head boy,” a position of leadership for students in the United Kingdom. After graduating from college, he spent many years working at Goldman Sachs before continuing his education at Oxford University.
First address by new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak 04:24
Sunak left Goldman to pursue an MBA at Stanford University, where he met his wife, the daughter of $4.5 billion Indian technology services firm founders and billionaire Narayana Murty. Forbes values this company at $4.5 billion.
Sunak worked for many hedge firms after graduating from Stanford. His wife’s almost 1% ownership in Infosys, which has a market value of roughly $77 billion, significantly boosts his fortune.
Tax and immigration concerns
Earlier this year, when news broke that Sunak’s wife had a “non-domiciled” status that enabled her to avoid paying U.K. taxes on her overseas income, Sunak and his wife came under criticism from the public for their tax filing practices.
Murty altered her tax status, but Sunak had a different problem: when serving as an MP and then as Chancellor of the Exchequer under former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, he had a green card that allowed him to work in the United States. Critics painted him as being unpatriotic and said he was leaving his options open. Reports state that Sunak renounced the green card in October 2021.
Sunak recently said that he didn’t think people should hold his money against him at a gathering.
According to Reuters, he said, “I believe in our society, we assess individuals not by their financial account, we judge them by their character and their acts.” Yes, I’m really lucky to be where I am right now, but I wasn’t born this way.