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Saturday, Feb 04, 2023

UK Minister Rishi Sunak's Wife Is Richer Than The Queen: Report

UK Minister Rishi Sunak's Wife Is Richer Than The Queen: Report

Rishi Sunak's wife Akshata Murty owns shares worth almost a billion dollars in Infosys while Queen Elizabeth II has personal wealth of about 350 million pounds ($460 million).

Akshata Murty, the Indian wife of embattled British finance minister Rishi Sunak, is richer than the queen as the daughter of a self-made tech billionaire and a no-less-formidable engineer and philanthropist mother.

Mr Sunak, once seen as a future prime minister of UK, has seen his popularity sink because of surging consumer prices, while recent reports that Ms Murty's foreign earnings are shielded from British tax authorities have added to the pressure.

Her father, NR Narayana Murthy, 75, co-founded tech giant Infosys in 1981, the outsourcing behemoth that helped drive India's remarkable transformation into the "back office of the world".

Borrowing ₹ 10,000 ($130) from his wife Sudha Murthy to help create it, the firm is now worth around $100 billion and was the first Indian company to list on Wall Street.

Sudha Murthy, 71, meanwhile was Tata Motors' first female engineer after famously complaining via a postcard to the chairman about the firm's stipulation that "lady candidates need not apply".

Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murthy met at Stanford University in the US when the latter was pursuing her MBA. The future chancellor of the exchequer was a Fulbright scholar already with a first-class Oxford degree.

Their 2009 wedding was a relatively modest affair, but the reception was attended by about 1,000 guests including politicians, industrialists and cricketers.

"Smear" Campaign

Akshata Murty, 42, owns shares worth almost a billion dollars in Infosys, according to the company's disclosure to the stock exchange.

This makes her richer than Queen Elizabeth II, whose personal wealth is about 350 million pounds ($460 million), according to the 2021 Sunday Times Rich List.

The couple own at least four properties, including a 7 million pounds five-bedroom house in upscale Kensington, London, and a flat in Santa Monica, California.

Akshata Murty is also the director of venture capital company Catamaran Ventures that she founded with Sunak in 2013.

She confirmed this week that she "is treated as non-domiciled for UK tax purposes", meaning returns from her Infosys stake are only liable for taxation outside Britain.

Mr Sunak told the Sun newspaper for Friday's edition that "to smear my wife to get at me is awful".

He said "it would not be reasonable or fair to ask her to sever ties with her country because she happens to be married to me".

Akshata Murty created her own fashion label, Akshata Designs, in 2010.

According to a 2011 Vogue profile, she works with artists in remote villages to create Indian-meets-Western fusion clothes that are "vehicles to discovering Indian culture".

"I believe we live in a materialistic society," she told the magazine. "People are becoming more conscious about the world they live in. Doing good is fashionable."


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