Her parents told her to marry into money...

When Amanda Staveley was a girl, her parents told her that tradition dictated her brother would inherit the family’s considerable wealth, while her role should be to marry into money.

However, the constraints of custom and conformity were not for Amanda. Today, at the age of 39, she is as famous for being a financial fixer to the world’s richest sheiks as she is for turning down a proposal of marriage from Prince Andrew.

As one of the Middle East’s most powerful businesswomen, she is worth more than £100 million, having brokered lucrative deals throughout the Arab world.

This week, her business acumen has again come to the fore amid the latest disaster to strike Barclays. It emerged that the beleaguered bank is the focus of a criminal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over apparently suspicious payments made in June 2008, when it obtained a bailout from wealthy backers in the Gulf.

In that deal, during the height of the world financial crash (when other banks were being given government bailouts), Barclays raised £4.5 billion from Qatar and other investors.

Shortly afterwards, in a separate transaction, Staveley became the envy of the banking world after pocketing around £30 million for introducing Sheik Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the brother of the ruler of Abu Dhabi, to a second capital-raising deal by the bank worth a staggering £7 billion.

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