A billionaire hedge fund tycoon – whose father was a car mechanic – has paid himself a record £343million after his firm saw a 66 per cent rise in pre-tax profits.
Sir Chris Hohn, 54, pocketed the record sum after The Children’s Investment Fund Management (TCI), which he founded in 2003, saw profits rise to £499million.
The bumper pay packet equates to £940,000 a day for Sir Chris, a reclusive billionaire who was at one time Rishi Sunak‘s boss and who once paid out £337million to his ex-wife in one of Britain’s biggest divorce settlements.
The enormous pay packet, which according to Companies House was paid in dividends to his personal company TCF Management, is 2,000 times more than the Prime Minister Boris Johnson‘s salary.
It is also believed to be the highest annual figure paid to a person in the UK.
The figure surpasses the previous record held by Bet365’s billionaire boss Denise Coates, who in 2018 raked in an enormous £323million and beat her own £265m record from the year before.
Billionaire hedge fund tycoon Sir Chris Hohn, 54, paid himself £343million – which equates to £940,000 a day – after his Children’s Investment fund, saw pre-tax profits rise
In 2014, the tycoon was ordered to hand £337 million to his American-born wife Jamie Cooper during their divorce proceedings
The tycoon employed Rishi Sunak to work for the firm as a junior analyst between 2006 and 2009
Sir Hohn collected the amount, which was for the year ending on February 29, 2020, through his personal company TCI Fund Management (UK) in dividends, according to Companies House.
The accounts show that the firm has total shareholder funds of almost $2 billion.
Born in Addlestone, Surrey, the tycoon, who is the son of a Jamaican car mechanic, graduated with first-class honours in accounting and business economics from the University of Southampton in 1988 before going on to work for the private equity group Apax Partners.
He then went on to work for Perry Capital, an American hedge fund on Wall Street, before being made head of Perry’s London operation in 1998.
In 2003, Sir Hohn set up The Children’s Investment Fund Management which makes long‐term investments in companies globally and holds stakes in companies such as Visa, Microsoft and Alphabet – the parent company of Google.
The now Chancellor Rishi Sunak was also employed as a junior analyst for the fund between 2006 and 2009.
In 2019, it emerged that the businessman, who is usually somewhat reclusive, donated £200,000 to climate activist group Extinction Rebellion through his charity and his own personal wealth, after claiming there was an ‘urgent need’ for people to wake up to climate change.
Around £50,000 of the donation came from his own pocket, while the rest came from his charity.
He also faced criticism over the 2005 derailing of Deutsche Börse’s bid for the London stock exchange, which he was said to have played a part in.
His London-based hedge fund TCI’s ultimate parent company is in the Cayman Islands – a well known tax haven.
In 2014, the tycoon was ordered to hand about a third of a £1billion fortune – £337 million – to his American-born wife Jamie Cooper during their divorce proceedings.
During the case, the couple, who had homes in London, the United States and the West Indies – had fought over assets totalling more than £700million at the High Court before a judge finally settled on the staggering sum.
Ms Cooper – who co-funded The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation with Sir Chris – later said she had considered appealing the ruling after being awarded £200million less than she wanted, but decided against it.
She told the court: ‘I have chosen not to appeal this judgment, and instead focus on my passions: transforming children’s lives in the developing world and raising my own children.
‘I firmly believe, however, that the so-called ‘special contribution’ doctrine used in this case is outdated and unjust in disproportionately valuing the generation of wealth.
‘It dismisses the important contributions that those who take on the responsibility to raise children and work in less lucrative sectors make to our society.’
The tycoon donated £200,000 to climate activist group Extinction Rebellion through his charity and his own personal wealth
The couple married in Washington DC in 1995 and have four children, including triplets.
However the pair returned to court in 2018 after Sir Chris refused to give his ex wife money from the Children’s Investment Fund which they co-founded.
The dispute centred on whether the foundation, which had assets of more than £3 billion, could make a grant of more than £270 million to a similar charity, Big Win Philanthropy, set up by Ms Cooper after the divorce.
The Surrey-born financier, who was ranked as the 125th-richest person in the UK with a £1.2bn personal fortune on the Sunday Times Rich List in 2020, last year slammed investment giants for acting ‘like sheep’ on climate change.
The billionaire, who was knighted in 2014 for his philanthropy, wrote to seven of the world’s biggest asset managers urging them to step up their efforts to force companies to become more environmentally friendly.
In the letter, sent through his charity the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Sir Hohn accused ‘most asset managers’ of ‘total greenwash’.
He later told The Financial Times: ‘The asset management industry is a joke in respect to what they are actually doing [around climate change]. They talk but they don’t actually do anything effective. Asset managers are sheep.’