Sir Chris Hohn, Founder and Manager of hedge fund The Children’s Investment (TCI) Fund, has paid himself what is believed to be the UK’s biggest annual pay packet.
Hohn, whose hedge fund has assets of US$35 billion according to Bloomberg, paid himself US$479 million. The sum was paid in the form of dividends from the hedge fund to his personal company TCI Fund Management UK, according to filings on Companies House.
The documents showed Hohn’s firm held investments totalling just under US$2 billion at the end of the year. The top 25 hedge fund managers raked in US$32 billion in earnings in 2020 as the world fell into an economic recession, The CEO Magazine reported, However, the stock markets reached new highs, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average increasing 7.3 per cent, the S&P 500 rising 16.3 per cent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index soaring 43.6 per cent in 2020. The top 10 hedge fund managers globally earned US$20.1 billion in 2020, a 50.2 per cent rise from US$13.4 billion in 2019.
Hohn’s company is registered at TCI’s Clifford House headquarters in Mayfair, London, but its parent company is based in the tax haven of the Cayman Islands.
Hohn’s salary, paid for the year to 29 February 2020, equates to US$1.3 million per day. It eclipses the previous record of US$449 million paid to Bet 365 boss Denise Coates in 2018. The son of a Jamaican car mechanic paid himself US$278 million in dividend payments in 2018, US$274 million in 2017, US$364 million in 2016 and US$250 million in 2015.
TCI Fund Management has built significant stakes in some of the world’s biggest companies, including Microsoft and Google parent company Alphabet.
The hedge fund boss, whose personal fortune is estimated at US$5.9 billion by Forbes, set up TCI Fund Management in 2003. The name derives from a charitable TCI Fund Foundation, established by Hohn and his ex-wife, Jamie Cooper-Hohn, to improve the lives of children living in poverty in developing nations. TCI Fund Foundation initially received a portion of TCI Fund Management’s profits and other donations.
The charity became one of the largest charities in the UK until the hedge fund and charitable foundation split up upon the pair’s divorce. Hohn was ordered to pay his former wife US$4.68 million and transfer US$375 million from TCI Fund Foundation to his ex-wife’s new charity Big Win Philanthropy.