A citizen of Russia and a subject of Great Britain, a native of Russia, a graduate of Moscow State University, Doctor of Mathematical Sciences Alexander Gerko became a dollar billionaire. Bloomberg estimates the fortune of the founder of the trading company XTX Markets at about $6 billion, which makes him one of the richest citizens in Russia.
Gerko's fortune exceeds the value of the assets of such Russian businessmen as, for example, the owner of the Wilberries online store Tatyana Bakalchuk, the former co-owner of Alfa Bank Pyotr Aven and the former vice president of Lukoil Leonid Fedun. In the Forbes 2022 list, Gerko would close the top 20 richest people in the country; in the April version of the magazine's list, he was not at all. According to the agency's calculations, Gerko turned out to be richer than the British businessman Richard Branson and almost caught up with another native of Russia, the founder of the Revolut financial service, Nikolai Stronsky.
Gerko founded the trading company XTX Markets in 2015, its difference from many other companies that trade on the exchange is its unique mathematical trading methods based on the analysis of a huge amount of data. Prior to setting up his own company, Gerko worked in the trading division of Deutsche bank, where he traded securities and, later, currencies. In 2009, he left the German financial conglomerate for the hedge fund GSA Capital, after which he founded his own company.
Already a year after its founding, XTX Markets entered the top 10 companies in the European market for providing foreign exchange liquidity on Forex, surpassing some major Western banks in this indicator. With a market share of 3.87%, XTX Markets has actually consolidated the trend towards the declining role of large banks in the global financial system, now a market maker (a company that provides assets and various products for sale and purchase during trading) does not have to be a giant bank. In 2019, XTX Markets already led this ranking with a market share of 7.36%, around this time the company began its active expansion outside the UK, primarily to France, the USA and Singapore.
However, a sharp increase in Gerko's personal fortune occurred only in the last two years. The native of Russia owns about 75% of the company, and the basis of his fortune is not only this share, but also cash paid out in the form of dividends from the activities of XTX Markets. The agency notes that since 2020, $ 2 billion in dividends have been transferred to the accounts of his company in the Cayman Islands. The company's profit for 2021 increased by 42% to $816 million. In March 2022, XTX Markets paid $1.6 billion in dividends, which is three times more than the same indicator a year earlier.
The success of XTX Markets, as the agency notes, is largely due to the policy of Western countries to stimulate economies during the corona crisis. The influx of cheap money, low lending rates and a boom in retail investment, as well as the company's innovative approach, are the key reasons that allowed XTX Markets to shoot in the market and achieve impressive results in such a short time.
However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine did some harm to the company of a native of Russia. Despite Gerko's anti-war stance and donations to Ukrainian refugees, his Russian passport led to a corporate conflict. In August, accounting firm Mazars refused to provide its services to XTX Markets precisely because Gerko had a Russian passport, despite the fact that he has lived in London for 15 years and is not on the sanctions list. XTX Markets sued Mazars for discrimination. The proceedings are not over yet, however, XTX Markets decided to refuse even the available services of Mazars.