The contest to decide the successor to Liz Truss as leader of the Conservative Party and U.K. prime minister came to a quick resolution on October 24 after both House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt and former PM Boris Johnson withdrew from consideration, clearing the way for former chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to become the first person of colour and first Hindu to lead Britain.
Rishi Sunak, (born May 12, 1980, Southampton, England), British Conservative politician and financier who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer (2020–22).
Rishi Sunak Early life
Sunak was born into a family with immigrant roots. His grandparents emigrated from Punjab, in northwestern India, to East Africa, where his mother and father were born in Tanzania and Kenya, respectively. They met and married after their families migrated in the 1960s to Southampton in southern England. Sunak’s father became a general practitioner for the National Health Service. His mother, a pharmacist, owned and operated a small pharmacy, for which Sunak, the eldest of their three children, would eventually keep the books. Later, during his political career, Sunak would draw parallels between his experiences working in the family business and the values he gained from them and those of Conservative Party icon Margaret Thatcher, the daughter of a grocer.
As a result of his parents’ sacrifices and saving to fund his education, Sunak was able to attend Winchester College, the exclusive private school that has produced no fewer than six chancellors of the Exchequer. In addition to becoming “head boy” at Winchester, Sunak was the editor of the school’s newspaper. During summer vacations he waited tables at a Southampton Indian restaurant. Sunak went on to study philosophy, politics, and economics (the degree obtained by many future prime ministers) at Lincoln College, Oxford. There he was president of the Oxford Trading & Investment Society, which provided students with opportunities to learn about financial markets and global trading. While at Oxford, Sunak also had an internship at the headquarters of the Conservative Party.
After graduating from Oxford in 2001, Sunak became an analyst for Goldman Sachs, working for the investment banking company until 2004. As a Fulbright scholar, he then pursued an MBA at Stanford University, where he met his future wife, Akshata Murthy, daughter of Narayana Murthy, an Indian billionaire and cofounder of technology giant Infosys. Returning to the United Kingdom in 2006, Sunak took a job with The Children’s Investment Fund Management (TCI), the hedge fund operated by Sir Chris Hohn, who made him a partner some two years later. In 2009 Sunak left TCI to join another hedge fund, Theleme Partners. That year he married Murthy; they would have two daughters. By virtue of Sunak’s success in business and his wife’s 0.91 percent stake in Infosys, the couple began to amass a considerable fortune, which would be estimated at about £730 million ($877 million) in 2022 by The Sunday Times. (Some sources estimated Akshata Murthy’s net worth at as much as £1 billion [$1.2 billion].)
Rishi Sunak Biography
|Birth||12 May 1980|
|Parents||Yashvir Sunak (Father)|
Usha Sunak (Mother)
Lincoln College, Oxford
Former Investment Analyst
|Net Worth||£3.1 billion|
Rishi Sunak Biography: Birth, Age, and Parents
Rishi Sunak was born on 12 May 1980 in Southampton, Hampshire, South East England to Indian parents Yashvir and Usha Sunak who were born in Kenya and Tanzania respectively. His father was a general practitioner while his mother was a pharmacist who ran a local pharmacy.
Sunak’s grandparents were born in Punjab Province, British India, and emigrated to the UK in the 1960s from East Africa. Sunak is the eldest of three siblings. His brother Sanjay is a psychologist and his sister Rakhi works as the Head of Humanitarian, Peacebuilding, UN Funds and Programmes at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
Rishi Sunak Education
He is an alumnus of Winchester College, Lincoln College, Oxford and Stanford University. During his summer holidays, Sunak waited tables at a curry house in Southampton.
Rishi Sunak’s Business Career
He undertook an internship at Conservative Campaign Headquarters during his time at the university. From 2001 to 2004, he worked as an analyst at Goldman Sachs, an investment bank. He left the job to join The Children’s Investment Fund Management (TCI) and became a partner in September 2006. He joined another hedge fund firm Theleme Partners in 2009. He also served as the director of investment firm Catamaran Ventures, owned by his father-in-law and businessman N. R. Narayana Murthy.
Rishi Sunak’s Political Career
In 2014, he was chosen as the Conservative candidate for Richmond (Yorks), a seat that was previously been held by William Hague. The seat has been held by the Conservative Party for over 100 years now. That year, he headed the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Research Unit of Policy Exchange and co-wrote a report on BME communities in the United Kingdom.
In the 2015 General Election, he was elected as an MP from Richmond (Yorks). From 2015 to 2017, he served as a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee.
He supported the EU referendum in 2016. He also wrote a report for the Centre for Policy Studies supporting the establishment of free ports after Brexit, and the following year wrote a report advocating for the creation of a retail bond market for SMEs.
He was re-elected as MP from the same seat in the 2017 General Election. He served as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary from January 2018 to July 2019. He supported PM Boris Johnson in the 2019 Conservative Party leadership election and even co-wrote an article in a British national daily to advocate for Johnson during the campaign in June 2019.
Sunak was re-elected in the 2019 General Election and was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July 2019 and served under Chancellor Sajid Javid. He became a member of the Privy Council on 25 July 2019.
After a cabinet reshuffle in February 2020, Sunak was promoted to Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Rishi Sunak Wife
Rishi Sunak tied the knot with Akshata Murthy in August 2009. The couple has two daughters. His wife is the daughter of Indian billionaire N.R. Narayana Murthy and serves as the director at Catamaran Ventures. She also runs her own fashion label and is among the wealthiest women in Britain.
Non-domiciled status of Rishi Sunak’s wife and green card
Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murthy has non-domiciled status, which means that she is not required to pay tax on the income that she earned abroad while living in the United Kingdom. Murthy pays around 30,000 pounds to secure the particular status, which further allows her to avoid paying an estimated 20 million pounds in UK taxes.
After the media controversy on the matter which rose during Rishi Sunak’s announcement to run for Prime Minister, Akshata Murthy announced on April 8, 2022, that she will pay UK taxes on her global income. She further added that she does not want it to be an issue to be a distraction from her husband’s plans.
Reportedly it was also revealed that Rishi Sunak continued to hold the U.S. Permanent Resident Card he had acquired in the 2000s until 2021, including for 18 months after he was Chancellor, which required filling the U.S. Tax returns.