It's difficult to know where to start when talking about Ian Fraser, who died in early May this year. He was a polyglot, speaking French, German and Italian; a war hero, winning a Military Cross for his bravery in Italy during WWII; and a City banker par excellence, under the tutelage of Siegmund Warburg.
He learnt at the feet of Warburg in the 1950s, and by early 1963 he had reached a position of some seniority. With his now extensive connections he was asked to do the arranging for Finsider, the steelmaking subsidiary of Italy's state-owned IRI group.
By managing to bring together the complicated 15 year, $15m Autostrade issue in July 1963, he created a template that could be repeated. Although it was Warburg who could see the direction that markets might follow, it was Fraser that could turn vision into reality.
In 1969 he was picked by UK prime minister Harold Wilson to be director general of the takeover panel: the belief being that someone of Fraser's intellect and military training could bring some discipline to London corporate finance.