Rishi Sunak officially became the UK's new Prime Minister this week. His appointment is historic, not just as the first-ever Asian Prime Minister, but also as the youngest Prime Minister in over 200 years. But there's another topic regarding the new PM that's piqued the public's interest - Rishi Sunak's net worth.
Rishi Sunak's net worth is £730m, making him the most affluent politician, ever, to appear on the Sunday Times Rich List and wealthier than the Head of State, King Charles III. Sunak's net worth is the combined sum of his and his wife, Akshata Murty's, money and assets.
Sunak has become the third Prime Minister in just months, winning the Tory leadership race after his predecessor Liz Truss resigned last week. Rishi Sunak is an economics man at heart, responsible for the 2020 furlough scheme and now facing the task of trying to salvage Britain's crumbling economy.
But can a man of such extreme wealth relate to those living in austerity due to the current cost-of-living crisis? The public is divided. But before we get into that, here's a little more about Rishi Sunak's net worth and where his money came from.
Why is Rishi Sunak so rich?
Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty have a combined net worth of around £730million - that's $826 million - according to the Sunday Times Rich List. That means the family are among the 25 most wealthy families in the UK, the NY Times reports.
The Times Rich List attributes the couple's wealth to "technology and hedge funds", but to unpack that further, a large portion of Rishi Sunak's fortune is thought to be a result of his wife Akshata Murty's 0.9% stake in IT company Infosys, which belongs to her father Narayana Murty.
Her stake is estimated to be worth around £690 million, and allowed the couple to collect £11.6 million in dividend income last year, according to reporting from Fortune.
Sunak’s net worth makes him richer - in fact, much richer - than the recently appointed King Charles III, who (before his inheritance) had a net worth of around £400million, according to an estimate provided by research institute Wealth-X, via Fortune.
Was Rishi Sunak born into wealth?
While it's safe to say Sunak was a product of a comfortable upbringing, he wasn't born into the extreme wealth that he now shares with his wife, Akshata Murty.
Sunak was born in Southampton to parents with relatively 'normal' professions; his mother ran a pharmacy, while his father was a doctor. He attended one of Britain's most prestigious schools, Winchester College, and then went on to study at Oxford, before paving his way as a successful investment banker, which allowed Sunak to make his own fortune, later to be combined with his wife's. Then in 2020, Sunak became Chancellor of the Exchequer, aged just 39.
What has Rishi Sunak said about his wealth?
Rishi Sunak has previously addressed his "fortunate" position in an interview with the NY Times. Back in August, asking the public to judge people for their "character and actions", rather than their "bank account".
He told the publication that he wasn't "born this way", adding, “I think in our country, we judge people not by their bank account; we judge them by their character and their actions".
Only two days into the job, Sunak has made his focus on stabilising the UK's finances a priority, telling the country in his first speech as Prime Minister, "I will unite our country, not with words, but with action," warning of the "difficult decisions to come," but assuring that, ultimately, "trust is earned. And I will earn yours".
What are other people saying about Rishi Sunak's net worth?
Rishi Sunak's extreme wealth has been met with some resistance from the public and MPs, with quotes and memes flooding social media that question Sunak's ability to ever be a man of the people.
"Rishi Sunak and his wife sit on a fortune of £730,000,000. That’s around twice the estimated wealth of King Charles III. Remember this whenever he talks about making “tough decisions” that working class people will pay for," wrote Labour MP for Nottingham East, Nadia Whittome. Nadia's tweet resonated, with almost 100K likes and 25K retweets, as well as being widely shared across other social platforms like Instagram.
Rishi Sunak and his wife sit on a fortune of £730,000,000.That’s around twice the estimated wealth of King Charles III.Remember this whenever he talks about making “tough decisions” that working class people will pay for.October 24, 2022
There's a real question mark over whether Sunak can ever really be a man of the people and relate to everyday financial struggles. Even the pseudo-Twitter account for Downing Street's resident cat, Larry, has had a pop at Sunak, tweeting, Rishi Sunak is becoming Prime Minister. His family is loaded so caviar and lobster on the menu for me from tomorrow."
Rishi Sunak is becoming Prime Minister. His family is loaded so caviar and lobster on the menu for me from tomorrow.October 24, 2022
Others took a more lenient approach, offering Sunak a chance (though with a healthy dose of scepticism that he'll take it) to prove he can champion the less wealthy.
"Rishi Sunak’s vast wealth should not disqualify him from serving the nation. It should simply disqualify him from making poorer people’s lives more miserable to satisfy his ideology," wrote one Twitter user.
Rishi Sunak’s vast wealth should not disqualify him from serving the nation. It should simply disqualify him from making poorer people’s lives more miserable to satisfy his ideology.October 25, 2022
“Can he - a millionaire many times over - convince people in dire financial straits that he understands what they are going through, and is willing to fight their corner, even if it means confronting the money men in the City?”
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Lauren is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has bylines in publications such as Marie Claire UK, Red Magazine, House of Coco, women&home, GoodTo, Woman's Own and Woman magazine.
She started writing for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant and covers everything from fashion and celebrity style to beauty and careers.
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