Who is Akshata Murthy? Net worth of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s wife, her profession - and how couple met

Murthy is the daughter of billionaire N.R Narayana Murthy, the co-founder of IT company Infosys

By Jenna Macfarlane
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 10:08 am

All eyes have been on Rishi Sunak this week as she was accused of ‘sheltering’ from UK tax using his wife’s nom-dom status.

Akshata Murty, estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of pounds, confirmed the arrangement that means she is not legally entitled to pay tax in Britain on foreign income.

Ms Murty, the fashion-designer daughter of a billionaire who married the Chancellor in 2009, insisted she pays taxes on all UK income and said the set-up is required because she is an Indian citizen. However, experts disputed this.

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Akshata Murthy and Rishi Sunak met while both studying at Stanford University in California (Twitter/Getty Images)

So, who is Akshata Murthy, the chancellor’s wife?

Here is everything you need to know.

Who is Akshata Murthy?

Mr Sunak is married to Akshata Murthy, 41.

She is the daughter of the sixth-richest man in India, billionaire N.R Narayana Murthy.

He is the co-founder of Infosys, an IT company. Started in 1981, the firm has gone on to be valued at billions of pounds.

The Times of India describes Murthy’s father as “one of India’s top entrepreneurs”.

Murthy used to work in finance and marketing, but she now specialises in fashion design.

She attended Stanford University, and Tatler once referred to her as “an artistic and fashion-loving student with a deep passion for India’s traditional craftsmanship”.

Murthy used to work with artists in isolated villages in India.

What is her profession?

Murthy’s occupation is running her own fashion label, Akshata Designs, while she is also a director of a venture capital firm which was founded by her father in 2010.

She grew up with a passion for clothes.

Murthy has previously said her love for fashion baffled her “no-nonsense engineer mother", Sudha Murthy.

Vogue magazine shot Murthy in 2011, and she spoke about working in fashion design in the accompanying interview.

"I'm about the story behind a particular garment, its authenticity, craftsmanship and protecting a rich heritage,” Murthy said.

She added: "I believe we live in a materialistic society, and over the last few decades it has become easier to sell products to a wide audience, given the advent of globalisation."

What is Akshata Murthy’s net worth?

The Times reported in February 2020 that Murthy has a stake in her father’s IT company that is worth £185million.

But her own personal fortune is estimated to be around £430million, which makes her richer than the Queen whose wealth amounts to £350million.

Murthy and Mr Sunak reportedly own “at least four properties”, according to The Times.

That includes a five-bedroom house in Kensington, which is valued at around £7million.

Recently, Murthy came under public scrutiny after it was revealed that she had claimed up to £100,000 from the chancellor’s Job Retention Scheme to pay furloughed staff at her gym business, Digme Fitness Limited.

Figures released showed that the company had claimed between £50,000 and £100,000 in furlough funds in December.

Murthy, who is a director at the business, has a 4.5 per cent stake in the firm.

How did Akshata Murthy and Rishi Sunak meet?

The couple met while both studying at Stanford University in California.

Mr Sunak won a Fulbirght scholarship to attend the prestigious institution.

They were married in August 2009, in a two-day wedding ceremony in Bangalore.

The pair initially lived in California, but they relocated to the UK with their two daughters, Krishna and Anoushka.

They now reside in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, but they still own a flat in Santa Monica in California.