Hedge-fund boss takes home UK record pay of £343m

Christopher Hohn's pay cheque came as a result of his Cayman Islands-registered investment partnership

Christopher Hohn, manager and founder of The Children's Investment Fund, speaks in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday, Sept. 17, 2007. Hohn, who led a shareholder revolt against Deutsche Boerse AG's top executives in 2005, said the manager of the Frankfurt exchange is a "great company.'' Photographer: Andreas Scholz/Bloomberg News
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Hedge fund boss Christopher Hohn set a UK record in 2020 for the biggest ever annual pay cheque after taking home almost $500 million, documents filed on Monday showed.

The billionaire boss, who owns 100 per cent of the Children's Investment fund, which he runs, paid the £343 million ($479m) sum into his personal company, TCI Fund Management, documents at Companies House showed.

The amount in dividends for the fiscal year ending in March is the highest ever paid to a person in Britain, The Guardian newspaper reported.

The figure is 9,000 times the average annual salary in Britain.

Mr Hohn broke the record previously held by Denise Coates, the founder of the British online betting site Bet365, who in 2018 pocketed £323m in salary and dividends.

The previous year, the TCI boss received a sum of $261m but he gave himself a pay rise after his fund's pre-tax profit rose from $420m in 2018-2019 to $695m in 2019-2020.

TCI, which was founded in 2003, takes minority stakes in multinationals with the aim of influencing their strategies.

In 2019, the fund managed $30 billion in assets.

The hedge fund has used its shareholder influence with several companies, including Airbus, saying it would punish directors who did not go far enough in reducing carbon-dioxide emissions.

The fund is based in London's Mayfair district, but its controlling company, owned by Mr Hohn, is registered in the Cayman Islands, a British territory and tax haven criticised by campaigners for enabling tax evasion and money laundering.

Mr Hohn has also gained a reputation as a prominent philanthropist.

In 2019 he gave away $386m through his personal charity, the Children's Investment Fund Foundation and donated £50,000 to the Extinction Rebellion climate change campaign.