Tony Blair’s son Euan is the founder of a start-up valued at £147m. At 37, he has hit the jackpot with Multiverse, an apprenticeship company that offers an alternative to the university system his father expanded as PM.
Wasn’t he the one found “drunk and incapable” on Leicester Square?
To be fair, he was only 16 – and celebrating the end of his GCSEs. Now he’s an upstanding entrepreneur, worth more than his father. Or, as the Telegraph put it earlier this year: “My God! Can Euan Blair really be worth £73 million? That’s even more than his moneybags dad, Tony, who’s got a mere £60 million to his name.” Euan owns 47% of Multiverse and accounts published in April show the company made almost £10m in a year.
How did he do that?
He figured out that his father’s obsession with sending everyone to university was wildly misplaced, and that not everyone needs a degree to make a valuable contribution to business. He believed apprenticeships were vastly underrated. Multiverse opened an office in New York earlier this year and now has 347 employees, most of them based in London. Not bad for a business he co-founded with Sophie Adelman in 2016, after a stint as a banker at Morgan Stanley. The company matches apprentices – it has more than 100,000 on its books – with employers such as Google, Facebook, BP, Microsoft and Morgan Stanley. There’s “one-to-one coaching with an industry expert” in areas such as software and data analysis, and training is meant to “exceed the best of the university experience”.
Remind us of his background
His antecedents are a mix of Protestants and Catholics from Ireland, and his parents both trained as lawyers. He grew up in Islington, attended the London Oratory, a state Catholic secondary, then studied ancient history at Bristol and did a master’s degree in international relations at Yale. Like his younger siblings, Nicholas, Kathryn and Leo, he holds an Irish passport by virtue of his father’s mother, Hazel Corscadden. She was the daughter of George Corscadden, a butcher and Orangeman who moved to Glasgow in 1916 but returned seven years later to Ballyshannon, where Hazel was born above the family’s grocery shop. As Catholics of Irish descent from Merseyside, Cherie Blair’s family came from equally humble origins. Euan’s grandfather was the British actor Tony Booth, best known for his role as Mike Rawlins in the BBC series Till Death Us Do Part. He abandoned the family when Cherie was eight years old.
Does Euan lead a millionaire’s life?
He married venture capitalist Suzanne Ashman in 2013 and they live in a £3.6m townhouse in Marylebone, central London – quite near his father’s house on Connaught Square, bought for £3.5m in 2004. The Blairs moved there when Tony stood down as PM in 2007. Euan may be surging ahead of his parents on the money stakes, but they’re hardly strapped for cash. They have a £35m property portfolio that includes a £10m pile in Buckinghamshire, formerly owned by John Gielgud, and a London mews house worth £1.7m. Cherie and Euan also co-own several flats in Manchester and Stockport, so Euan is a property magnate too. His younger brother Nicky is a football agent who lives in a £2.75m London house, and his barrister sister Kathryn owns two houses in the capital – one bought in 2015 and valued at £1.4m, another snapped up in 2018 for £2.4m.
Has the Blair name been a hindrance?
Not with the Silicon Roundabout crowd: London’s tech set barely know who Prince Edward is, never mind a Labour PM from 15 years ago. His father’s popularity plunged after the Iraq War, but none of this has stuck to Blair Jr. He seems to operate under the radar – no Wikipedia page for him – and he has little trouble finding willing backers for Multiverse. According to the FT, its funding round in January was led by US venture capital firm General Catalyst – which backed Snapchat and Deliveroo – and included Index Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners, both of which contributed to its previous $16m fundraising last year.
Impressive. Aren’t the offspring of PMs usually useless at most things?
It’s too early to tell with Boris’s son Wilfred, while the Cameron/Brown brood are still at school. James Major, who was 22 when his father, John, lost the 1997 election, became a nightclub promoter and more recently a flooring contractor. Margaret Thatcher’s son, Mark, got lost in the Sahara during the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1982, failed to prosper as a businessman and was linked to an attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea in 2004. Further back, Randolph Churchill could never hope to live up to his father, Winston, but gave it a go as a Tory MP during the war. Robert Peel Jr fared less well. Son of the Victorian PM Robert Peel, he also went into politics, but managed to blow the family fortune. His obituary declared: “His career has closed in disappointment and futility.”
Euan can’t be the only PM’s child to do better than his parent?
You’re right. There was William Pitt the Younger, son of Pitt the Elder, the Whig prime minister from 1766 to 1768. Tatler reminded us recently that the younger Pitt was only 24 when he became PM in 1783 (our youngest ever), remaining in the job for more than 17 years. What’s more he “returned to Downing Street in 1804 for another two years, until his death”. Perhaps Blair the Younger, having made his fortune, will follow his father into politics.
And swap his anonymous millionaire life for the badly paid bear pit that is politics? We doubt it.