A company owned by the former chancellor Philip Hammond has declared an increased dividend of £600,000, after working for clients including the government of Saudi Arabia, Companies House filings suggest.
Accounts for Matrix Partners Ltd, set up by the Conservative peer after he left office, indicate that the consultancy business has performed strongly thanks to its work for private sector clients and the Saudi regime.
The filings suggest Matrix has generated pre-tax profits of at least £2.5m since it was incorporated in January 2020. The business proposed a dividend of £500,000 last year but increased the planned payout to £600,000 for the 12 months to March 2023, the accounts show.
Lord Hammond is the majority owner of Matrix via his holding company Chiswell (Moorgate).
The peer, who was chancellor between 2016 and 2019, stepped down as an MP in November 2019 and formed Matrix Partners two months later. He was made a peer in September 2020.
Through Matrix, which employs two people, Hammond has personally advised clients including the finance ministry of Saudi Arabia, a host of financial technology (fintech) companies and the billionaire hotelier Surinder Arora, according to the House of Lords register of members’ interests.
He has also advised the Japanese bank Nomura, the investment manager Davidson Kempner and AP Wireless, which invests in mobile phone mast sites.
The register shows that Matrix made £68,631 advising the Saudi government in the 2021-22 financial year but the disclosures have not yet been updated to show whether the work continued in the most recent year for which Matrix’s accounts are available.
Hammond, who worked as a property developer before becoming an MP, has amassed a sizeable portfolio of paid consultancy roles and private shareholding since leaving office.
The Lords register shows he earned £274,525 providing advice on fiscal and economic reforms to the government of Bahrain in 2021-22 and made a further £6,250 as a consultant for the investment arm of the state of Kuwait.
He has also joined a host of private companies as an adviser or director, including being chair of the crypto-currency firm Copper Technologies.
The Guardian revealed this month that a Russian banker who had been placed under sanctions sold more than £15m of shares in Copper, in a transaction that experts say could have attracted scrutiny from US sanctions enforcers. Hammond is understood to have been unaware of the transaction.
Hammond has also profited from a number of speaking engagements, advisory roles and roles with private companies, including the specialist tax advice firm RCK Partners and the real estate group Innovo, according to the register.
Other than Chiswell (Moorgate), he has shareholding interests, which can be equity stakes or share options, in nine companies, including Copper and the banking firm OakNorth, which is a client of Matrix.
In 2021, the Whitehall watchdog that assesses former ministers’ jobs after leaving government rebuked Hammond for using his government connections to assist OakNorth.
The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) said the former chancellor’s use of his contacts at the Treasury was “not acceptable” and inconsistent with the rules that sought to prevent former ministers from providing private sector clients with unfair access or influence in government.
Hammond told Acoba he had contacted the government not to secure any financial benefit to OakNorth but as part of a “pro bono” offer of support during the Covid pandemic to help identify businesses and economic sectors most at risk.
Months earlier, Acoba approved Hammond’s work via Matrix Partners for Saudi Arabia’s finance minister, but acknowledged Hammond’s inside knowledge of the UK government “could be perceived to offer an unfair advantage” to the Saudis.
Hammond declined to comment.