Rishi Sunak won the Conservative Party leadership contest, making him the UK’s next prime minister and one of the richest men to hold the office, but his wealth comes from a surprising source: his wife.
Akshata Murthy is the daughter of billionaire tech founder Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy, who created the Indian IT company Infosys. King Charles has an estimated wealth of $ 420 million, and thanks to his father’s company stock, Murthy has an estimated wealth of just over $ 800 million.
The wealth shared with Sunak makes him the only prime minister to date richer than the reigning monarch.
And that wealth comes from owning just under 1% owned in the company. Infosys currently has a market value of 1.005 trillion Indian rupees, which equates to just over $ 12 billion.
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Murthy’s father has retired from his company but still owns a minority stake in Infosys, which provides him with personal assets of over $ 4 billion.
Sunak himself worked as a banker for Goldman Sachs and later joined the Children’s Investment Fund Management. He met Murthy while studying as a Fulbright Scholar at Stanford to earn his MBA.
Murthy’s parents left her to live with her grandparents while they worked to found their own company, a company that would make NR Narayana Murthy “the father of the Indian tech industry”.
Her mother, meanwhile, worked as a computer scientist and was the first female engineer at India’s largest carmaker, part of the Tata conglomerate, according to the Guardian.
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This change of fortune took some time, but it allowed Murthy to study at Claremont McKenna College in California, where he earned a degree in business and French before moving to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles.
She married Sunak four years after meeting him at Stanford. At the time, she Murthy had moved to join a Dutch cleantech incubator in San Francisco, but shortly thereafter she left to open her own fashion brand, Akshata Designs, a business that went bankrupt in three. years.
Murthy’s wealth proved to be a difficult topic at times, including a recent tax status dispute over whether while living in the UK with her husband, she continued to declare her non-domiciled resident status which meant she was not obliged to pay UK taxes on her overseas income, according to the BBC.
Since his wealth comes almost entirely from his family’s business in India, this meant he paid virtually nothing to the UK while he lived there. The deal sparked accusations of hypocrisy against Sunak, who was therefore not paying taxes while the rest of the country struggled with inflation and rising costs.
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Murthy was expected to pay around $ 321 million in UK inheritance taxes, but her Indian citizenship and non-domiciled status protected her from those taxes, a privilege she paid around $ 35,000 a year to keep. .
The couple own a Georgian manor house in the village of Kirby Sigston in North Yorkshire, valued at over $ 450,000, which contains an indoor spa and swimming pool, gym, yoga studio, hot tub and tennis court, has reported the Guardian.
The large disparity in wealth prompted claims that Sunak was too rich to understand the struggles of the average citizen in the UK, with a Labor MP accusing him of being “out of touch” and “living on another planet”.
Murthy eventually agreed to change her tax regime as she decided it could create a “distraction” for her husband, saying at the time, “It has become clear that many do not find it compatible with my husband’s role as chancellor. [of the Exchequer]. ”
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“I understand and appreciate the British sense of fairness and I don’t want my tax status to be a distraction to my husband or affect my family,” she added.
It will now pay UK tax on all world income, including dividends and capital gains, “wherever income occurs in the world”, applying retroactively to fiscal year 2021-22.