Russian-born billionaire becomes UK’s top taxpayer

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According to the Sunday Times Tax List, which was released on Friday, Russian-born millionaire Alexander Gerko was the UK’s highest taxpayer last year.

Gerko, 43, has given the British government more than £487 million ($601 million) in just one year. More than £1.3 million in taxes are paid every day as a result, or £55,639 every hour. This is an increase from the £117.4 million he paid the year prior, when he was ranked tenth.

Gerko, who ranked first among the top 100 UK taxpayers, beat Denise Coates, the CEO of the country’s largest gaming company Bet365, who paid £460.2 million ($569 million) in taxes in 2017. Third place went to Stephen Rubin, the owner of the sports and fashion companies Speedo, Kickers, and Berghaus, who paid £392.3 million ($485 million) in taxes.

J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, and Sting are among the UK’s highest taxpayers.

Moscow State University awarded Gerko a degree in mathematics; he was born there. He started out trading stocks at Deutsche Bank AG before switching to foreign exchange.

He recently gave up his Russian citizenship and became a citizen of the United Kingdom in 2016. Gerko created and owns 75% of the London-based trading company XTX Markets in 2015. According to Bloomberg, XTX manages about $300 billion in daily activity across equities, commodities, currencies, and fixed income.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Gerko’s majority ownership in the company is estimated to be worth $6.4 billion. The business, which saw a 42% increase in annual earnings to £667 million in 2021, is growing and now has operations in New York, Paris, Singapore, Mumbai, and Yerevan, Armenia.