Knesset member about to become first billionaire in Israel’s parliament

The IPO is set to earn Barkat billions of dollars.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Former Jerusalem Mayor and current Likud MK Nir Barkat is set to become the Knesset’s first ever billionaire, as a company in which he is a major investor gears up for a giant initial public offering (IPO).

Barkat and his brother, Eli, are the brains behind the BRM Investment Fund. Together, they own 10% of FinTech company eToro, which is publicly valued at $10 billion and is preparing for a NASDAQ debut in the coming weeks.

According to Calcalist, the IPO will earn Barkat, who also owns shares in eToro as an independent investor, and his fund billions of dollars.

But this wouldn’t be the first time that Barkat cashes in from a high-tech company exit. He was a founder and major investor in Check Point Technologies, a cyber security software company which is valued at $14 billion.

His fund also counts transportation app Moovit in its portfolio. Intel recently acquired Moovit for $1 billion.

A former venture capitalist, Barkat’s current net worth is estimated at several hundred million dollars. He is the only member of Knesset who does not accept a salary from the state, and does not request reimbursements for expenses incurred while serving in the government.

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Barkat has previously expressed his intention to become prime minister one day. Citing the fact that he is a marathon runner, he said he had the patience to wait out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political career.

“The day after he leaves, I will know how to run and win in the Likud and get the public’s trust to be prime minister,” he told Channel 12 in a June 2020 interview.

During a June 2018 visit, Britain’s Prince William extended an invitation to meet with Barkat at the British Ambassador’s residence in Ramat Gan, which the then-Jerusalem mayor turned down.

Reportedly, the British government feared that a meeting between the monarch and the Jerusalem mayor in the Jewish State’s capital city would lead to international backlash.

Rather than agree to meet Prince William in the Tel Aviv suburb, Barkat refused to meet him at all. Barkat’s aides told Hebrew media that he skipped the Ramat Gan meeting “out of respect for Jerusalem.”