George Osborne has forged a lucrative career since leaving politics in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.
The former chancellor edited the Evening Standard, earned £650,000 for four days a month work at financial giant Blackrock and was recently made a partner at boutique investment bank Robey Warshaw.
But the 49-year-old’s success and wealth pales in comparison to his girlfriend Thea Rogers, ten years his junior, as she prepares to crystallise her stake in Deliveroo when it lists for as much as £7.2billion.
George Osborne (pictured with girlfriend Thea Rogers) edited the Evening Standard, earned £650,000 for four days a month work at Blackrock and was made a partner at Robey Warshaw
The delivery app has denied her holding was worth as much as a rumoured £40million – but as an executive it is likely Rogers’s payday on listing will be substantial.
The company has boasted that all its staff have held options since 2018 meaning the IPO could make hundreds of them instantly wealthy.
Last year The Hut Group’s float, with a valuation of £5billion, created 74 millionaires. Deliveroo’s tactic of offering £50million of shares to customers has added to the buzz around the float, with many expecting shares to ‘pop’ upon listing.
Rogers, the tech firm’s chief customer officer, began a relationship with Osborne in 2019 after his separation from his writer wife of 21 years, Frances.
Rogers was a BBC political producer, before going into politics as a special adviser and then the former chancellor’s chief of staff.
Osborne is is understood to have held on to a £3m chalet in the Swiss Alps resort of Verbier (pictured)
Osborne has astounded critics with his reinvention, earning the nickname ‘nine jobs’ for his ability to bag lucrative positions after his retirement from politics, which dwarfed the £140,000 a year he earned at the height of his political career.
Rogers, an Oxford graduate, was first hired by Osborne to improve his media image. She was credited with ‘metrosexualising’ him – by sharpening up his wardrobe and hair cut, and putting him on the 5:2 fasting diet – as well as being a key brain behind the national living wage and the Northern Powerhouse concept.
She was rewarded with the biggest pay rise of her peers in 2015, and an OBE.
She joined Deliveroo as its public relations chief in January 2017 and took her current role last year amid a slew of hires and promotions designed to position the top team for the float.
Osborne’s permanent base is now a £1.6m five-bedroom Georgian home in the high society Somerset town of Bruton
Around the same time, Osborne announced a split from his wife Frances, 52, the daughter of former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Howell. The decision was ‘mutual and long thought-out’, the pair said.
He sold the £4million Notting Hill townhouse, where they lived with their two children, now both grown up, but is understood to have held on to a £3million chalet in the Swiss Alps resort of Verbier.
Osborne’s permanent base is now a £1.6million five-bedroom Georgian home in the high society Somerset town of Bruton.
While Osborne and his girlfriend appear to be sitting pretty, there will be considerable uncertainty about how investors will receive the Deliveroo float.
Technology stocks have taken a battering in the last fortnight because of fears around inflation and whether customers will still shop online with the same verve once life returns to normal.
Experts have questioned whether the enormous volume of orders going through the Deliveroo app will be maintained once restaurants and cafes reopen again.
The company announced a £223.7million loss in 2020 despite booming sales and its claim of ‘best-in-class economics’.
AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: ‘It’s hard to see it’ll have another year when market factors were so much in its favour.
A cynic might ask, if Deliveroo couldn’t deliver a profit against that backdrop, when will it?’ The company was founded in 2013 by UK-based American businessman Will Shu.
It yesterday quoted analysis from consultancy OC&C which found it was operating in a market that could be worth up to £1.2 trillion.
But it is also part of a fiercely competitive environment – up against Just Eat Takeaway.com and Uber Eats.
The firm has already attempted to close down one area of controversy before it goes public, announcing a £16million ‘thank you’ fund for its longest-serving riders. It has long fought off claims its riders should be entitled to holiday and sick pay and rights if they are injured at work.
It is likely Shu and his executives will have been keen to avoid being seen to be cashing in at IPO, while gig economy workers got nothing.
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