Crawford set for return

ROLLY Crawford, tipped to take over from Stefan Allesch-Taylor as chief executive of investment bank Fairfax, is one of the best-known names in the City, though for some of the wrong reasons.<br /><br />The former head of investment trusts at stockbroker Collins Stewart, Crawford was one of four senior City figures who were implicated in the Financial Services Authority&rsquo;s four-year investigation into collusion in the split-capital investment trust sector, which was finally tied up in 2007 via a &ldquo;no-blame settlement&rdquo;.<br /><br />As part of Crawford&rsquo;s agreement with the regulator, he agreed not to perform any customer-related activities before the end of 2007, and not to take up any influential senior management role before 3 October this year.<br /><br />Our revelations that he may shortly take over from Stefan Allesch-Taylor at the helm of Fairfax come just over a week after this ban was lifted.<br /><br />It is understood he would have to reapply to the City watchdog for &ldquo;approved person&rdquo; status if he is indeed taking on the position of chief executive.<br /><br />A total of 50,000 people lost money in the split-caps scandal, when the model of paying some investors large dividends came unstuck.<br /><br />Allesch-Taylor is also a larger-than-life City figure &ndash; quite literally, since the investment banking veteran stands an eye-watering six foot ten inches tall. <br />Allesch-Taylor, who is also renowned for keeping pet piranhas in his office, founded Fairfax in 2006.