London – Hedge fund boss Christopher Hohn set a UK record in 2020 for the biggest ever annual paycheck after he paid himself almost half a billion dollars, according to documents filed on Monday.
The billionaire boss, who owns 100% of the Children’s Investment (TCI) fund which he runs, paid the £343 million ($479 million, R7.1 billion) sum into his personal company TCI Fund Management, documents at Companies House showed.
The amount paid in dividends for the fiscal year ending in March is the highest ever paid to an individual in the Britain, The Guardian newspaper reported.
The figure is 9000 times the average annual salary in Britain.
Hohn broke the record previously held by Denise Coates, the founder of the British online betting site Bet365, who in 2018 pocketed £323 million in salaries and dividends.
The previous year, the TCI boss received a sum of $261 million but he gave himself a pay rise after his fund’s pre-tax profit rose from $420 million in 2018-2019 to $695 million in 2019-2020.
TCI, which was founded in 2003, has made a name for itself by taking minority stakes in numerous multinationals with the aim of influencing their strategies.
In 2019, the fund managed $30 billion in assets.
The hedge fund has used its shareholder leverage with several firms, including Airbus, saying it would punish directors who did not go far enough in reducing C02 emissions.
The fund is based in London’s fashionable Mayfair district, but its controlling company, owned by Hohn, is registered in the Cayman Islands, a British territory and tax haven criticised by campaigners for facilitating tax evasion and money laundering.
Hohn has also gained a reputation as a prominent philanthropist.
In 2019 he gave away $386 million through his personal charity, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and donated £50,000 ($69,000) to the Extinction Rebellion climate change campaign.