WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President George W. Bush has picked Ford Fraker, a financial firm executive with decades of experience in the Middle East, as the new US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, the White House said.
If confirmed by the Senate, Fraker would replace James Oberwetter, who has served in the post since December 2003.
Fraker is currently chairman of the Trinity Group Limited, a private investment banking firm he established in 1996. Earlier in his career, he served as Head of Banking for Saudi International Bank.
A biography on Trinity’s Internet site says Fraker became Chemical Bank’s assistant representative in Beirut in 1974, then set up their first Arabian Gulf office in Dubai before becoming vice president and regional manager in Bahrain.
In 1979, he joined a JP Morgan affiliate in London — Saudi International Bank — where he was a division head for the Middle East, among other posts, according to the site.
In 1991, Fraker established Fraker and Co in London, raising capital for clients from Middle Eastern institutions and private investors. He continued this work for there years as a Managing Director of MeesPierson Investment Finance (UK) Limited before co-founding Trinity Group, according to the site.