Hedge fund manager Sir Chris Hohn is the most generous philanthropist in the UK according to The Sunday Times Giving List in association with Charities Aid Foundation.
The Sunday Times Giving List features in a new edition of The Sunday Times Rich List, which is published today online. It will also feature in the print edition of the newspaper on Sunday, where the 68-page special edition of the magazine will reveal the wealth of the 350 richest people in Britain.
The Sunday Times Giving List tracks the philanthropic activity of 100 of Britain’s wealthiest people. It reveals that they collectively gave £3.431 billion to charity personally or through their charitable foundations or businesses this year, up by £1.092 billion on last year’s total giving. This is the 35th annual edition of the list.
Sir Chris Hohn, 56, tops the rankings by giving away more than 15% of his current wealth. The hedge fund manager set up his own firm, the Children’s Investment (TCI) Fund, in 2003, structuring it so that profits would go directly to Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). TCI gave away more than £755 million in 2021. This equates to about £2.1 million a day, or £86,000 an hour.
In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Times, Hohn said:
“Climate change is the greatest crisis of our times, poor countries are struggling to grow food now because of heat waves, flooding and extreme temperatures. If they could understand, even on a simple level, the joy they could have by sharing it [their wealth], I think they might all be happier people. Even for those who are into philanthropy they are only giving away a half per cent of their wealth. They’re not really doing more than tokenism.”
The rise of Hohn’s giving has been years in the making but can have an inspiring impact, says Neil Heslop OBE, the Chief Executive of Charities Aid Foundation:
“The effect of high-net-worth individuals giving is extraordinarily beneficial and I applaud it. He is an example of the trend we are seeing, someone who has already given a great deal yet continues to respond to the world around him by giving more.
“The cost-of-living crisis and rising inflation continue to increase costs for charities and many more are relying on their vital services, at a time when the general public are reducing their donations. It is more important than ever that those who can afford to give, encourage others to join them in giving more.”
According to the most recent accounts, seven members of the Rich List gave more than £100 million in the past year, 42 gave £10 million or more, while 90 were members of the £1 million donors club.
The Giving Index is compiled annually by The Sunday Times. It calculates the proportion of total wealth donated or pledged to charity by those who appear in the Rich List. It is based on accounts lodged with the Charity Commission, the Scottish Charity Regulator or private questionnaires received by May 10, 2023. Donations are defined as money distributed personally, by companies, by charitable foundations; or by broader-based charities that are identified with a given individual.