Billionaire’s son who lost £35m trading shares thought it was ‘just bad luck’

A Russian billionaire’s son who lost more than £35 million of his father’s money trading on the stock market while a student in London thought he was the victim of “bad luck”, a court has heard.

Temur Akhmedov, 27, told Mrs Justice Gwynneth Knowles that he rallied after the “initial shock” and became convinced that if he invested more he would be able to “make it back”.

He said his father, businessman Farkhad Akhmedov, “tried to be kind” but was “very angry”.

His mother, Tatiana Akhmedova, had told him, words to the effect: “Everything will be OK, don’t worry.”

Mrs Justice Knowles is overseeing the latest stage of a £450 million divorce fight between Farkhad Akhmedov and his ex-wife.

Ms Akhmedova, 48, who describes herself as “Russian by origin” but lives in London, is trying to get her hands on around £450 million she is owed by Farkhad Akhmedov, 65, following the breakdown of their 20-year marriage.

Akhmedov court case
Akhmedov court case

She has taken legal action in Britain and abroad in a bid to trace assets she says her ex-husband has tried to put beyond her reach.

Ms Akhmedova is also suing Temur, their eldest son, who is now a London trader.

She says he has helped his father hide assets and owes her nearly £70 million.

Mrs Justice Knowles is considering evidence in the dispute between mother and son at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

The judge has heard that Temur Akhmedov was given a £29 million London flat when he was 19 and lost more than £35 million, given to him by his father, trading in stocks and shares, while studying private banking at the London School of Economics (LSE) between 2013 and 2015.

Temur Akhmedov, who said he left the LSE before graduating,told Mrs Justice Knowles on Wednesday about his “investment failure”.

He said his father had “made arrangements” for more than £35 million to be paid to him.

“In hindsight I can see my boldness in my abilities as an investor was a product of youth and the perhaps misplaced confidence of a young person,” he said, in a written witness statement.

“After my initial shock at the investment failure, I did rally.

“I became convinced this loss was just bad luck, and if I only invested more I would be able to make it back, with more to spare.

“I had a complete determination to prove myself to my father as an investor and I tried to reassure myself after this overwhelming loss that it was just an early failure, which would be followed by great triumph in the markets.”

Temur Akhmedov denies the allegations against him and says his mother’s claim should be dismissed.

Barrister Robert Levy QC, who is leading Temur Akhmedov’s legal team, has told the judge that Temur Akhmedov is not his father’s “lieutenant” and that Farkhad Akhmedov is the “ultimate decision-maker”.

Ms Akhmedova was awarded a 41.5% share of her ex-husband’s £1 billion-plus fortune by a London judge in late 2016.

Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said she should receive £453 million – which lawyers say is the biggest payout of its kind.

But judges have heard that she has so far received about £5 million and Farkhad Akhmedov has not voluntarily paid anything.

Mr Akhmedov says that, because he and his ex-wife are not British, and were not married in Britain, a British judge should not have made a decision.