Rishi Sunak will be the first person of color to be Britain’s prime minister, but his wealth is stealing plenty of headlines, too. The former finance minister and hedge fund manager is worth about $828 million, per Newsweek, though it’s mostly thanks to his wife, Akshata Murthy, heir to the founder of Infosys. Together, they’re one of the wealthiest couples in Britain, even richer than King Charles III (although, as Newsweek points out, the king's $500 million inheritance is padded by roughly $42 billion worth of family jewels, art, and palaces).
Sunak’s almost-billionaire status certainly puts him in a league of his own compared to other leaders in the democratic world. By Newsweek’s accounting, President Biden is worth about $8 million, while Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has $10 million, thanks to his grandfather’s fortune in real estate and gas stations. Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky has some $20 million in the bank, following a successful career in comedy prior to his current endeavor leading a nation at war. Speaking of, Russia’s Vladimir Putin—who worked as a KGB agent and taxi driver before entering politics—could be worth some $200 billion, though nobody really knows.
While British tabloids have called him "Rishi Rich," an easy play on Richie Rich of comic book and movie fame, the Guardian has questioned whether Sunak’s fortune makes him "too rich to be PM." For example, at the family’s weekend house—a Georgian manor in North Yorkshire—the indoor pool alone costs over $14,000 per year to heat, about six times the energy bill for the average British household at a time when British living expenses are quite through the roof. Then again, Sunak’s wealth may not matter to many British voters, per the Washington Post, which quotes one political observer saying, "The British as a whole don’t think that being wealthy is a bad or disqualifying thing," but, "people do care about wealthy people fixing the rules for themselves." (Read more Rishi Sunak stories.)