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Sir Chris Hohn

Posted by Caribbean World Magazine on 25 January 2021 | 0 Comments

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25 January 2021

Wealthier than Bob Marley, but not as well known He may not be instantly recognised, at home or abroad, but British-born billionaire Sir Chris Hohn is the richest person of Jamaican descent.

According to Forbes magazine, he is 330th on its Rich List yet few people know the name behind an estimated fortune of US$5.9 billion - so who is Sir Chris Hohn?   

Considered an activist investor, and was knighted largely for his propensity to donate large sums of money to causes that benefit children.But his charity also extends to the most recent issue affecting the whole world. In April last year, Hohn is said to have made a £2.4 million donation for 100 Covid-19 testing machines. Hohn, who is of Jamaican parentage, is a hedge fund manager and the founder of the Children’s Investment (TCI) Fund Management. The 54-year-old was in the news this week for having paid himself £343 million (US$479 million) last year – after his company made a profit of US$695 million – an increase of some US$420 million over 2019. His salary, to put things in perspective, translates to J$72.1 billion – or close to 10 percent of the entire Jamaican budget for 2020 of J$853.5 billion. 

According to The Guardian, the amount is said to be perhaps the largest annual salary ever paid to anyone in the UK at 9,000 times the average UK salary and 1,700 times the salary of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. But Hohn is worth a lot more than his annual salary. According to Forbes magazine, Chris Hohn ranks at number 330 on its rich list, with an estimated fortune of US$5.9 billion. Only one other Jamaican comes close - Michael Lee Chin, who Forbes ranks as 1,063 on its rich list US$1.6 billion. Other wealthy Jamaicans such as the recently deceased Butch Stewart of Sandals Resorts International, and music mogul Chris Blackwell, have not made it onto the Forbes list.

Among his many claims to fame, Hohn once employed Rishi Sunak, the current Chancellor of the Exchequer. Sunak worked as a junior analyst at TCI from 2006 to 2009, an experience that is not listed on Sunak’s LinkedIn profile, which starts with his current job in 2020. 

Hohn’s parents are Paul and Winnie Hohn, both Jamaicans, and he is the nephew of Marigold Harding, the former custos of St Andrew in Jamaica, and the wife of Ossie Harding, the now retired senator from the Jamaica Labour Party. Hohn is also the cousin of Zachary Harding who now leads Stocks and Securities Ltd (SSL) a Jamaican stock broking company, as Group CEO.

Hohn is a private person, who is not well known in Jamaica, but he has the distinction of having one of the largest divorce settlements in British history, when he had to give his former wife

Ex-wife, Lady Jamie Cooper-Hohn 

some £337 million. Hohn, who was knighted in 2014 for his services to philanthropy, is one of the UK’s more generous philanthropists. He gave away $232m (£177m) through CIFF in 2018 and directed $140m to various children’s charities and projects. Hohn has also personally donated £200,000 to Extinction Rebellion and donated $80m to various other charities tackling the climate crisis.