Rishi Sunak has been the UK’s Prime Minister since 25 October 2022. Having been in office for over a year, it is no surprise that he has faced some controversy - notably over his much-hated ULEZ scheme and, more recently, over the Covid inquiry. Although Rishi makes a lot of money with his 6-figure salary, it is his wife who really tips the family’s wealth into the extremes.
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Rishi met Akshata Murthy at Stanford University in America in 2004, and the couple got married five years later. They tied the knot with a two-day ceremony hosted in Bangalore, Akshata’s hometown, and have since had two children together. Akshata is the daughter of N.R Narayana Murthy, who Forbes describes as ‘the legendary cofounder and retired chairman of Indian tech giant Infosys’. In October, the Evening Standardclaimed that Akshata Murthy has made more in 2023 from this company’s dividends than the whole of the UK’s Labour Party has made combined. Here’s how much money she banked over the year, compared to how much the Labour MPs have made.
How much Akshata Murthy makes from her father’s company
Akshata’s father founded Infosys in 1981 and since then, it has made him and his family a large fortune. Akshata Murthy has owned a 0.94% stake in Infosys since 2015. But how much is this in real terms? Well, according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2022, that stake was worth around £690 million last year.
The List estimated that £54 million will have been paid to Rishi’s wife in dividends over the seven and a half years leading up to the publishing date of the list, August 2022. According to the Evening Standard, the latest dividend payout was worth £6.8m. The value of Infosys shares decreased by around 25% earlier this year, but Akshata is definitely rich enough to take that hit without it impacting her lifestyle.
Akshata Murthy’s own career
Akshata started her career at Deloitte and Unilever, and went on to work as a marketing director for a ‘clean technology incubator fund’ in San Francisco. She quickly left to follow her dreams and create her own fashion label, Akshata Designs. However, this was not a great success: the business collapsed within three years.
In 2013, Akshata became the director of venture capital fund Catamaran Ventures. This time, her efforts worked out as the company saw considerable success.
Rishi’s wife is also a shareholder in at least six other big companies, reports the Evening Standard, including:
Jamie Oliver’s Pizzeria, Bloom & Wild, Wendy’s restaurants in India and New & Lingwood, a men’s apparel store, which ‘measures Etonians for tailcoats and silk dressing gowns’.
Comparing Akshata Murthy’s wealth to the Labour Party
In total, Akshata Murthy has received an eye watering £13.5 million from Infosys alone this year. As the Evening Standard explained in its article of October 2023:
MPs are paid a parliamentary salary of £86,584, amounting to a combined wage bill of £12.8 million for Labour’s 197 MPs at this point in the calendar year.
So, in October 2023 Akshata had indeed earned more than the whole of the Labour Party through dividends from her family's company. One thing is for sure: she certainly has enough to fund her shopping habit.
The Evening Standard: Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty earns more than all Labour MPs combined after fresh £6.8 million dividend
Forbes: N.R. Narayana Murthy