‘The money hasn’t gone to me’: Tony Blair’s son Euan, 38, denies £1.35BN valuation of his Multiverse firm has made him superrich – despite his ‘£380m’ personal stake
- Tony Blair’s son Euan Blair has swatted away questions about his own fortune
- Multi-millionaire’s apprenticeship company is now valued at £1.4billion
- Its expansion this year has increased Mr Blair Jr’s paper fortune to £380million
Tony Blair‘s multi-millionaire son Euan Blair today swatted away questions about his personal fortune after his apprenticeship company doubled its value in eight months to nearly £1.4billion.
Mr Blair Jr has come a long way since his brush with the law 22 years ago, when he was arrested by police for being drunk in London‘s Leicester Square while celebrating his GCSEs.
Now 38 and the owner of a £22million west London mansion, his ‘EdTech’ company – which aims to get young people into apprenticeships – has doubled its previous valuation of £700million after receiving new funding, increasing Mr Blair Jr’s own paper fortune to at least £380million.
But while plugging his Multiverse education business today, Mr Blair Jr laughed off a question about his own personal fortune.
‘The thing I’d emphasise is: The money hasn’t gone to me, it’s gone to Multiverse and we have an incredible team of people and leaders who are making what we’re doing happen on a daily basis so it’s about much more than me,’ he told Sky News.
His father, the former Prime Minister, vowed to get half of school leavers into university after being swept to power in 1997 on a promise that New Labour’s priorities would be ‘education, education, education’.
But like many sons, Mr Blair Jr appears to have rebelled against his father’s education vision for Britain, arguing that the country’s ‘obsession with the academic as a marker of potential and talent’ is ‘completely insufficient’ to meet the needs of the 21st Century.
Tony Blair’s multi-millionaire son Euan Blair, pictured on Sky News on June 9, 2022
Tony Blair posing with his family, wife Cherie, and children (left to right) Nicky, Kathryn and Euan, before taking up residence at 10 Downing Street in 1997
Euan Blair, pictured with his father Tony Blair as a teenager in 1999
So what has happened to Tony Blair’s other children?
Tony Blair with his family on the doorstep of 10 Ten Downing Street. L-R, sons, Nicky , Euan, wife Cherie, son Leo, Tony Blair and daughter Kathryn
Nicky Blair, 36, is a successful football agent and married divorce lawyer Alexandra Bevir.
Nicky, who trained to be a teacher, tied the knot with Alex with a reception at the Blairs’ Buckinghamshire home South Pavilion. The couple have a young child together.
Nicky’s agency, Magnitude, was accused of trading on the Blair name to sign players in the footballing hotbed of Brazil — including youngsters from country’s impoverished favelas, The Sun has claimed previously.
In 2018 Nicky splashed out £2.75million on a new London property.
Kathryn Blair, 34, is a successful barrister. The PM’s only daughter married long-term boyfriend James Haslam in Sardinia in 2019.
In preparation for marital bliss, barrister Kathryn and James bought a five-bedroom West London townhouse for £2.4 million. She also has another home in London worth some £1.4million, bought in 2015.
Baby of the family Leo Blair is 22. He owns a £800,000 home close to the Blairs’ country seat. It is in the grounds of this house.
Asked about his company’s new valuation, Mr Blair Jr said: ‘I think if anything it’s an endorsement of the fact that people look at the world at the moment and realise a one size fits all model around university or college is completely insufficient and actually really unfair.
‘We’ve all got to make sure that the bets jobs of the next decade don’t simply go toward the same people as the best jobs of the last decade. Otherwise we’re building up big social problems, we’re going to impact on productivity even more, and we’re not going to end up with a fair and equal society.
‘So it doesn’t benefit employers, it doesn’t benefit individuals it doesn’t benefit society more widely, and people have seen in what we’re doing at Multiverse a chance to make this a centrepiece of that new movement around building an alternative to university through apprenticeships.’
Asked who his competitors are, he replied: ‘There are lots of organisations delivering apprenticeships, many on a much smaller scale.
‘I think I often look at the biggest competition as traditional colleges and universities because for a long time they have been able to act as the gatekeepers of a lot of the best jobs in the labour market with very little pushback or challenge despite the fact there’s no real correlation between academics and job performance.
‘So I think for us it’s often about showing actually how this route can be an even better way to help people transition fairly from full-time education to full-time employment, and then crucially continue to develop them.
‘Because people are going to be in the workforce now for at least 50 years. Everyone’s going to have to train and retrain multiple times and a shot of learning at the start of your career through an academic institution is just completely insufficient for what’s going to be needed.’
Mr Blair Jr was last week awarded an MBE for services to education in the Queen’s birthday honours list, six months after his father was awarded a controversial knighthood.
A petition to cancel the former Prime Minister’s knighthood over the Iraq War got 1million signatures in six days but despite this Tony Blair was made Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.
Aged 16, Mr Blair Jr was found by police ‘drunk and incapable’ and vomiting in Leicester Square after celebrating the completion of his GCSE exams a little too hard.
Having initially given a false name and address, telling officers he was called Euan John, was aged 18, and lived at his old home in Islington.
Only days earlier his father had been speaking out against hooligan behaviour, calling for police to be given powers to levy on-the-spot fines on drunken youths.
After seeing the inside of a cell, he was released without charge and driven home by special branch officers.
Then New Labour ‘spin doctor’ Alastair Campbell read out a prepared statement of apology from Mr Blair Jr to the public. He said he was ‘very sorry for the inconvenience he caused to the police’.
Speaking after the funding was announced, Mr Blair Jr said: ‘There has never been a more pressing time to create an alternative to university education that is equitable and inclusive and there is an incredible opportunity before us to change the status quo with apprenticeships.
‘This funding will help us bring more people without degrees or in need of re-skilling into tech careers and ultimately create a more diverse group of future leaders.’
Previously Mr Blair Jr has suggested GCSEs should be scrapped because he thinks they are not a good indicator of future work performance and had failed to create a ‘fairer society’.
His remarks and business set him apart from his father, who called for seven in 10 young people to go to university – saying an increase from the current 53 per cent was key to the UK competing with ‘high-innovation economies’.
Euan Blair, pictured with Suzanne Ashman on their wedding day in 2013 in Wotton Underwood
Mr Blair Jr’s west London property was converted from two town houses
Tony and Cherie Blair also has a country house in Buckinghamshire, pictured
Jeremy Duggan, president and board member at Multiverse, said: ‘The Multiverse journey so far has been characterised not only by rapid growth, but also by creating a real and actionable solution to the challenges of diversity in the workplace.’
Mr Blair Jr also said on LinkedIn, according to the Finanical Times, that he never ‘set out’ to complete a found round and also said: ‘We raised record-breaking sums twice in 2021. Ultimately, I’m a firm believer in raising well before you think you might need it. Building an outstanding alternative to university is not a small endeavour.’
The Daily Mail revealed last month that Mr Blair Jr had bought himself a five-storey west London townhouse costing £22million which features an ‘iceberg basement’ with a swimming pool.
He was able to make the purchase after venture capitalist investors last year allowed him to sell £320million-worth of shares to buy a home.
His seven-bedroom house, originally two terrace properties, has a basement, an indoor pool and gym among numerous facilities. A vehicle lift ferries cars to the underground garage. Above, a 50ft-long, double-height reception room on the lower ground floor has a galleried landing leading to the bedrooms.
He is starting to match his father’s impressive property empire, with his Georgian five-storey townhouse in London believed to be worth around £10million, as is his Grade I-listed manor house in Buckinghamshire.
Euan Blair’s education company Multiverse is now valued at £1.35billion
A source close to Mr Blair Jr said: ‘It’s a joint property with his wife Suzanne – and there is a mortgage. People might be surprised he has such a house so young – but he’s doing a good thing, trying to make apprenticeships grow.’
Mr Blair Jr’s mother Cherie famously gave him a leg up on to the property ladder 20 years ago, when she bought a £265,000 flat, plus a second one to rent out, for him to live in while studying ancient history at Bristol University.
He did an unpaid Capitol Hill internship with Republican David Dreier and Republican Party staff at the United States House of Representatives but left early moving onto London public relations company Finsbury Limited.
Then he got an M.A. in International Relations with a £50,000 scholarship at Yale University, it was reported by the Daily Mail in 2008, but claims higher education taught him ‘nothing’ that proved useful.
He said: ‘[Graduates and him] had no divine right to be there… it was a consequence of a system that was obsessed with using academics, with all the latent biases and problems inherent in that, to select people.’
Mr Blair Jr also joined the world of investment banking, with a graduate job at Morgan Stanley and was reported to be a runner in the film V for Vendetta.
The father of one was introduced to his wife by former defence secretary Geoff Hoon while she was on work experience.
Suzanne Ashman, the daughter of motor racing entrepreneur Jonathan Ashman, married Mr Blair Jr in 2013 after seven years together. She is now a partner at venture capital firm Local Globe.
In 2017, at the age of 29, his wife was listed as a prominent European financier on prestigious business publication Forbes’s 30 under 30 list.
Inside Euan Blair’s billion pound Multiverse company – which used to be called WhiteHat and has achieved ‘unicorn’ status
It is the UK’s first EdTech firm to achieve unicorn status after being valued at 1.7 billion US dollars (£1.4 billion) in its latest fund round. A unicorn is when a startup that is privately owned has a valuation that exceeds $1 billion.
Euan created his business, Multiverse, with merchant banking friend Sophie Adelman in 2016, and now is the major owner, with up to half the shares.
The company is paid by blue chip firms to recruit and train apprentices in the tech field. The latest funding injection of 220 million US dollars (£175 million) has come from US investment firm StepStone Group, and previous investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and General Catalyst.
Euan Blair co-founded the start-up with friend Sophie Adelman in 2016. Pictured with Multiverse board member and president, Jeremy Duggan (right)
The former PM and his wife own a magnificent townhouse in London – although it is smaller than their son’s
It is understood Euan (pictured when company was WhiteHat) has a stake of between 25% and 50% of the business, now worth up to £677 million on paper
It is understood Euan has a stake of between 25% and 50% of the business, now worth up to £677 million on paper.
The education tech firm formerly known as WhiteHat, works with business ranging from Facebook and Zoopla to Warner Bros and BP, matching young people with apprenticeships based on their skills.
It set the record for the UK’s largest EdTech venture round in 2021 and has had injections of capital from General Catalyst, Google Ventures, Index Ventures, Audacious Ventures, Latitude and SemperVirens. These institutions were supported by angel investors including John W. Thomson, Chairman of Microsoft, and Jeremy Darroch, Chairman of Sky.
But it has had its setbacks as well. Multiverse Group Ltd, lost £10.9 million in 2021 on top of more than £5 million in 2020, the Daily Mail’s Richard Eden revealed. Including its previous years’ losses, the total reaches £18.8 million.
Multiverse said in December: ‘The movement in net loss year-on-year reflects the ongoing investment in the business and our commitment to building support functions that will allow the organisation to scale.
‘We have made significant investments across all teams at Multiverse to set ourselves up for greater scale.’
The Multiverse offers an alternative to university as the path to a tech career and it has helped more than 8,000 into apprenticeships globally.
Its website states: ‘Our mission is to create a diverse group of future leaders. To achieve this, we provide high-quality apprenticeship programmes that combine work, training and community.
‘Since starting in 2016, we’ve grown across the UK, training over 5,000 apprentices in partnership with more than 200 of the world’s best employers.
‘Focusing on the skills of the future, our programmes range from business operations to data science and software engineering. Our mission is global, so in 2021 we launched in the US.’
Tony Blair, pictured with his wife Cherie following the wedding of their son Euan to Suzanne Ashman on September 14, 2013 in Wooton Underwood, Buckinghamshire
Britain’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair poses for photographers along with his family (L-R) sons Nicky, Euan, wife Cherie, son Leo and daughter Kathryn in 2005
Apprentices are offered a minimum £15,000 salary (£18 to £21k on average) while being placed at top firms by Muiltverse which it promises will likely lead to a job in their field. It claims 95% of apprentices who completed our programmes landed a job within 90 days.
It gives these trainees free application and interview advice for the advanced data, data, digital marketing, software engineering and digital business accelerator fellowships.
One Data Fellowship Apprentice, Cartomu, said: ‘Multiverse apprenticeships give young people like me more options. We don’t have to worry about our financial situation, whilst getting an education that’s relevant and useful.’
For its employers it matches employers with apprentices through data promising to reach ‘high potential, underrepresented talent that is typically hard to reach’ and offering an outstanding-rated Ofsted teaching programme to help apprentices succeed.
It works with Morgan Stanley, Capital, the NHS, Citi Bank, KPMG and Laing O’Rourke.
The group claims that 56% of the apprentices it has placed are people of colour, more than half are women and 34% come from economically under-served communities.
The company which operates in the US wants to help those without higher education as two-thirds of Americans do not have a college degree, even though 65% of jobs require some college of a bachelor’s degree.
Multiverse said this disproportionately excludes black and Hispanic Americans, while it also means companies are missing out on reaching a pool of potential talent and new recruits at a time when hiring is challenging.