Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair rejected claims that he is “super-rich,” and said he has no dreams of owning a yacht.
“This notion that I want to be a billionaire with a yacht; I don’t. I am never going to be part of the super-rich. I have no interest in that at all,” The Telegraph quoted Blair as saying in his interview to The Financial Times on Saturday.
As an adviser to the U.S. investment bank JP Morgan, Blair earns around $3.9 million a year and a lesser sum for a similar role with Zurich insurance group. He also makes $314,190 a time for speeches.
He also runs a financial advisory service, Tony Blair Associates, which has rewarding deals with the oil and gas-rich governments of Kazakhstan and Kuwait and sovereign wealth funds in China and Abu Dhabi.
The Financial Times estimated that his income last year was $31.41 million, and earlier this year, The Sunday Telegraph reported how one of his companies, set up to manage some of his business affairs, had an income almost $19 million in 2010/11.
His total wealth, meanwhile, is estimated at between $31 to $94 million if his real estate properties are added, which includes a country house in Buckinghamshire and a town house in Mayfair, central London, as well as homes for his children.
The newspaper said that on his travels he tends to stay in hotel penthouse suites with an entourage including bodyguards paid for by the British taxpayer. His friends include several billionaires, among them Rupert Murdoch.
In the interview, however, Blair insisted that he used his private wealth to help fund his burgeoning charitable empire, which includes a faith charity and an African charity.