Rishi Sunak’s former boss pays himself a huge £575m dividend


Rishi Sunak’s former boss pays himself a huge £575m dividend as his hedge fund takes advantage of political and market turmoil

Rishi Sunak’s former boss has paid himself a £575million dividend in one of the biggest payouts in British corporate history.

Hedge fund billionaire Sir Chris Hohn (pictured) received the sum, equivalent to £1.6million a day, after a sharp rise in profits at his firm TCI Fund Management.

Based in Mayfair, London, TCI is one of the best performing funds in the UK, with profits jumping to £732million in the year ended February 2022 from £286million over the previous 12 months, accounts lodged at Companies House show.

Payout: Hedge fund billionaire Sir Chris Hohn Rishi Sunak’s former boss has paid himself a mammoth £575m dividend

TCI profited from political and market turmoil. The hedge fund is renowned for its activist investing and last month called on Alphabet, the owner of Google, to make ‘aggressive’ cost cuts, warning the American internet giant has too many staff.

TCI, which stands for The Children’s Investment, is where Sunak spent his formative working years, joining as a partner in 2006 before leaving in 2009.

The Prime Minister worked there in his 20s and the job made him a multi-millionaire despite the financial crisis. Hohn’s payout is up significantly up from the £115million dividend dished out a year earlier. 

The year before, he paid himself £343million.

That sum beat the £323million paid to Bet365 boss Denise Coates in 2018.

But the biggest cheque in UK history still belongs to Sir Philip Green. In 2005 Green and his wife Tina pocketed £1.2billion from his fashion empire Arcadia.

No tax was paid on the dividend cheque made out to Tina Green because she is based in tax-free Monaco. His dividend will cement Hohn’s status as one of Britain’s most successful investors.

The 56-year-old grew up in Surrey, the son of a Jamaican car mechanic. He graduated with first-class honours in accounting and business economics from Southampton in 1988 before working for private equity firm Apax Partners.

Hohn set up TCI in 2003 and has established a reputation as a fearsome activist fund manager, building stakes in companies and pushing them to change to improve their performance.

A well-known backer of climate group Extinction Rebellion, he has pushed firms to improve climate policy, threatened to sue coal-financing banks and said his fund will vote against directors whose companies do not improve pollution disclosure. 

He was 67th in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, with an estimated net worth of £2.6billion.

The parent company of his TCI empire is based in the Cayman Islands, a tax haven.

In 2014, during testimony in his divorce battle with estranged wife Jamie Cooper-Hohn, he described himself as ‘an unbelievable moneymaker’. A High Court judge later awarded Cooper-Hohn a £444million divorce payout.

TCI declined to comment yesterday.

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