Chris has over 30 years' experience in international banking, working in the UK, France, Lebanon, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Australia, as well as being responsible for banking operations in Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. His first banking role was in London in the Africa and Middle East Department of National Westminster Bank. Later, in Saudi Arabia, he ran the Merchant Banking Division of The Saudi British Bank (HSBC affiliate) and established its international division. He then moved to Bahrain where he was part of a small team to establish a Kuwait-Bahrain consortium bank, and was promoted to Deputy General Manager, responsible for credit and marketing, treasury, investment, operations and administration. He worked for the bank for 7 years. He was also closely involved in mergers and acquisitions in South East Asia and Australasia, and subsequently worked in Australia for 2 years for a boutique merchant/investment bank in that field.
In 1992, he set up a banking consultancy in London, Banking Solutions Limited (www.bankingsolutions.co.uk), and has since been involved personally in assignments in Ghana, The Gambia, Guyana, Tunisia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. During this period, as a consultant for the European Commission, he worked to merge three credit institutions in Palestine, and converted the resulting fund into a development bank, for both of which he was CEO for 6 years. The main business of the bank was lending to SMEs. During this time, he was also closely involved in a number of Israeli-Palestinian business initiatives, particularly in IT and tourism. He has recently set up an affiliated company of Banking Solutions in Amman, Jordan.
Chris has served on various bank boards, including Korea International Finance Corporation (affiliated with World Bank/IFC) and Xiamen International Bank, in China. He has been a guest speaker at various international banking and investment conferences. In the UK, he served for many years as the UK Representative for the largest bank from the Philippines.
More recently, he has worked for the British Government in Iraq to try to improve the banking sector in Basra Province, to increase access to credit for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and to develop international trading and investment links for Iraq. During this time, he established the parameters for a regional SME loan fund in Basra. He also worked to assist UNIDO in the establishment of an SME fund for the whole of Iraq, and in formulating an Iraq agricultural credit scheme for an EU government. From July 2008 to June 2009, he worked in Baghdad on a World Bank assignment to restart an SME fund for the Iraqi government, and since October 2009 has been working in Jordan to restructure a government-owned development bank. In June 2011, he became part of a team monitoring the Temporary Financing Mechanism established to assist the new Libyan ruling council on behalf of the Contact Group. In 2012, he returned to Baghdad to work on a project to improve access to finance in Iraq and in upgrading the banking system.
Having worked in Palestine for 8 years, Chris still resides in the Middle East.
Chris has experience of most banking operations and activities, necessary in setting up new financial institutions, but has more recently specialised in SME finance, and risk management. He has a good knowledge of all banking policies and procedures, as well as banking law and investment law.
Chris was born in London, England. He was educated in the UK, France, Germany and Holland, and obtained a Double Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Economics at the University of Birmingham. He later spent a year at MECAS in Lebanon learning Arabic.