Russian-born billionaire becomes UK’s top taxpayer

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Alexander Gerko paid more than $600 million to the British state last year, outpacing gambling magnate Denise Coates

Russian-born billionaire Alexander Gerko became the UK’s top taxpayer last year, according to the Sunday Times Tax List published on Friday.

Gerko, 43, has contributed more than £487 million ($601 million) to Britain’s public finances in just 12 months. It is equivalent to more than £1.3 million in tax a day – or £55,639 an hour. This is up from the £117.4 million he paid the previous year, when he ranked in tenth place.

By taking the top spot on the list of the 100 biggest taxpayers in the UK, Gerko outpaced the head of Britain’s gambling empire Bet365, Denise Coates, who paid £460.2 million ($569 million) in tax last year. The owner of sport and fashion brands Speedo, Kickers and Berghaus, Stephen Rubin, who paid £392.3 million ($485 million) in tax, was in third place.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling and Sting are also featured among the UK’s highest taxpayers.

Gerko was born in Moscow and received a doctorate in mathematics from Moscow State University. He began his career trading equities at Deutsche Bank AG and later shifted to foreign exchange.

He has been a British citizen since 2016 and recently renounced his Russian citizenship. In 2015, Gerko founded London-based trading company XTX Markets and owns 75% of the firm. XTX handles almost $300 billion in daily volume across equities, commodities, currency and fixed income, according to Bloomberg.

Gerko is estimated to have a $6.4 billion fortune through his majority stake in the business, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The company, whose year on year profit in 2021 increased 42% to £667 million, is expanding and has offices in New York, Paris, Singapore, Mumbai and Yerevan, Armenia.

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