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- Hedge fund manager Sir Chris Hohn paid himself £270 million in dividends last year, despite his Children’s Investment Fund making only £200 million in profit.
- The news comes amid concerns about high levels of executive pay and bonuses.
- However, it is understood Hohn reinvested most of the money back into the fund.
LONDON – Hedge fund manager Sir Chris Hohn paid himself £270 million last year, despite his Children’s Investment Fund making only £200 million in profit.
According to accounts filed with Companies House and reported by The Guardian, Hohn, the sole shareholder, collected $364 million (£269.6 million) in dividend payments in the financial year to February 2017, up from $0 the year before.
But the fund’s profits before tax only totalled $273 million (£202 million), up from $179 million (£133 million) the previous year. Hohn and Angus Milne, the fund’s other director, also received a combined salary for the year of $361,246 (£268,000).
Hohn reinvested most of his payment back into the fund, which manages more than £8 billion of investments. During the financial year to February, he made a contribution to the fund of $40 million in capital reserves.
Speaking to The Guardian, the Director of the High Pay Centre thinktank Stefan Stern said Hohn’s pay was “extraordinary.”
“These numbers are setting a very worrying benchmark,” he said. “It gives the sense that the only way is up.”
Hohn has donated more than £1 billion to the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the charity he founded with his ex-wife Jamie Cooper to combat childhood mortality and promote education and development. In 2014, Hohn was knighted for services to philanthropy.
The fund declined to comment.
“The original mission in setting up CIFF was to improve the lives of children in developing countries who live in poverty. This hasn’t changed. I want to solve problems, not make grants,” said Hohn in a statement on the Foundation’s website.
The Children’s Investment fund is currently feuding with the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The fund, which holds a 5% stake in the LSE, has accused the LSE board of forcing out CEO Xavier Rolet. It has called for Rolet to remain in the role and Chairman Donald Brydon to leave instead.
According to the Sunday Times rich list, Hohn is the 157th richest person in the UK, with a fortune of £820 million. In 2014, he paid Cooper £337 million in the largest ever British divorce settlement.
The news follows last month’s revelation that Denise Coates, founder of Bet365, paid herself £217 million.