Tycoon killed in seaplane crash leaves $49 million to Oxfam


A millionaire businessman who died in a seaplane crash on New Year's Eve has left the majority of his £41 million ($52.6 million) fortune to crisis-hit charity Oxfam.

Richard Cousins and his fiancee Emma Bowden, his two sons and Bowden's daughter died on December 31, 2017 while on vacation in Australia when the seaplane they were sightseeing in crashed.

British newspaper The Sun reported Tuesday that Cousins had initially left his fortune in trust to his sons, but a year before the accident he had drawn up a new will, inserting a "common tragedy clause" that would leave the majority of his fortune to Oxfam in the unlikely event he and his sons died at the same time.

Richard Cousins, chief executive officer of Compass Group,  on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. T
Matthew Lloyd | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Now, all but £3 million of his fortune will go to the charity. His brothers Simon and Andrew both get £1 million, The Sun said, leaving 38 million pounds, or $48.7 million to Oxfam.

The bequest comes despite a high-profile scandal that has engulfed the British aid organization Oxfam in recent years. Male aid workers were accused of paying for sex with underage prostitutes while working for the charity in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. Oxfam has also been hit with allegations of sexual harassment at its charity stores in the U.K. and for not vetting its workers well enough.

The bequest also comes weeks after Oxfam chiefs said they needed to cut jobs and find £16 million in savings. As such, how the bequest is spent will be scrutinized.

Oxfam confirmed the bequest when contacted by CNBC and said: "We are extremely grateful for this bequest of which we have only recently been notified. We are working with the family and our board of trustees to identify how the money will be used."