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Rishi Sunak’s old hedge fund boss paid himself $1.9 million a day this year

December 1, 2022, 12:36 PM UTC
Christopher Hohn of The Children's Investment Fund leaves Portcullis House on January 27, 2009 in London.
Chris Hohn, pictured in 2009, paid himself a record $690 million in 2022.
Peter Macdiarmid—Getty Images

The U.K. is in the throes of a cost-of-living crisis, with real wages declining at a record rate this year—but amid the economic turmoil, one of the country’s wealthiest people cashed in on a record payday as his hedge fund’s profits skyrocketed.

Billionaire Chris Hohn, who founded TCI Fund Management in 2003 and serves as its director, paid himself a dividend of almost $690 million this year, documents filed with the British government this week showed—the equivalent of almost $1.9 million a day. 

The payout is believed to be the highest annual amount ever paid to a single person in Britain. It is more than 15,000 times as high as the U.K.’s median salary of £33,280 ($40,585), and broke Hohn’s own record that was set when he paid himself $479 million last year.

Representatives for Hohn were not available for comment when contacted by Fortune.

Hohn, a Harvard Business School graduate and son of a Jamaican car mechanic, owns 100% of TCI—the world’s best performing large hedge fund in 2019—and has a net worth of $8.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

His record dividend came after the London-based hedge fund—where serving Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, a multimillionaire, worked for Hohn between 2006 and 2009—saw its pretax profits dramatically jump more than 50% year on year to surpass $1 billion.

TCI holds stakes in companies including Alphabet, Microsoft and Visa, according to the Guardian.

Last month, Hohn wrote to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, revealing TCI’s “significant” stake in the Google parent company amounted to $6 billion. In the letter, Hohn urged Pichai to take “aggressive action” to reduce Alphabet’s costs, insisting that “the company has too many employees.”

While TCI is headquartered in London’s high-end Mayfair district, it is owned by the Children’s Investment Fund Management (Cayman) Ltd.—a parent company based in the tax haven Cayman Islands.

Hohn himself is one of the U.K.’s most prominent philanthropists, giving away $386 million through his charity, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, in 2019.

One of his major philanthropic endeavors is funding efforts to alleviate the climate crisis, which he has made a central pillar of both his charity and his hedge fund.

In the past, he has publicly called for firms that don’t make climate disclosures to be punished, and TCI has threatened to dump its stakes in companies that have no emissions-reduction strategies in place. The hedge fund requires companies it invests in to make annual disclosures on their carbon emissions.

Hohn’s payouts to environmental initiatives include thousands of pounds in donations to controversial activist group Extinction Rebellion, a move he said he made because “humanity is aggressively destroying the world with climate change, and there is an urgent need for us all to wake up to this fact.”

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