Colin Craig

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"He went on to work at the newly-founded Opinion Research Centre, but finally decided against a career in the political world. In 1969 he became a director of Investment Development and Technical Services, which provided financial advice in the developing world.

"In 1974 his passion for the Arab world was sparked by the first of many trips to the region, and in the same year he moved to the merchant bank Guinness Peat, for which he was instrumental in establishing an office in Dubai and negotiating the financing of an aluminium plant in Bahrain.

"In 1995 he was appointed head of Middle East business at Robert Fleming & Co, where he developed investment banking operations through offices in Bahrain, Beirut and Cairo. After the acquisition of Flemings by Chase Manhattan, Craig's team joined Close Brothers, taking much of their existing business with them. Finally, in 2002, he established his own firm, MerchantBridge, which attracted the support of a number of Gulf investors. Latterly an office had been established in Baghdad, and the business was developing strongly.

"He participated in British business councils established to facilitate good relations with Arab states, and was a regular member of delegations from the City to the Middle East. His advice was much sought after by ministers and central bankers. He was appointed OBE in 1996. " [1]

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