Tributes have been paid to a top Midland banker and global advocate for Birmingham who has died.
Mervyn Phillips, who was in his fifties, died at the weekend after a long career in the banking world. His career with Lloyds TSB saw him travel all over the world including Spain, France, Portugal and South America.
Stephen Smith, HR director for the firm's Wholesale and International Banking division, said: "Mervyn Phillips was one of the last of the Lloyds TSB breed of career expatriate bankers. His career took him to locations as diverse as Rio de Janeiro, Biarritz, Lisbon, London and Birmingham.
"Mervyn was great company as a bon viveur in business and social situations, always with an eye to a commercial opportunity but quick to inject humour into any situation. He worked for the bank for more than 32 years and will be greatly missed."
For much of the last 15 years or so Mr Phillips was based in Birmingham and still doing his worldwide deal-making. Latterly, after leaving the bank, he joined actuaries firm Quantum.
Mr Phillips was born in Swansea and was a passionate Welshman and rugby fan. He was a graduate in Russian Language and Literature from London University, while his interests include rugby, golf, cockles and lavabread.
But, living in Warwickshire, Mr Phillips became a campaigner for Birmingham, particularly its international profile, playing a major role on lobby group Birmingham Forward's international committee, being a director of the British American Business Council and retaining many connections with France and the French.
But he was also a character and raconteur. Diane Benussi, chairman of Birmingham Forward, said: "Mervyn was a highly respected Birmingham businessman and he had a widespread influence particularly within the city's financial services sector.
"He was always an active and passionate advocate of Birmingham Forward. His support for the organisation, both with its lobbying and networking activities, was always enthusiastic and he often provided wise counsel during the early years of our development.
"It is with great sadness that Birmingham Forward has heard of his passing."
John James, a former chairman and chief executive of Birmingham Forward, said: "Mervyn was a great supporter of Birmingham and a great supporter of Birmingham life. He was one of Birmingham's characters and will be sadly missed."
David Birch, a partner with law firm Wragge & Co, said: "Mervyn was good company, was an independent thinker and had an impish sense of humour. He was an asset to the Midlands, with real insights and could be very effective.
"You won't find another Mervyn on the next street corner."
Businesswoman Lou Jones, chief executive of C3 Consulting in Birmingham, said: "Mervyn was thought to be hugely politically incorrect, but he was a wonderful man.
"He was a big supporter of people he believed would make a difference in Birmingham. I hope he is standing up there on a cloud with a pack of Lucky Strike and a bottle of claret."
Chris Monk, of property agents King Sturge, noted: "He was a really strong networker and loyal friend. He was well travelled and happy to give out his contacts. He was one of life's gentlemen."
And telling one of the many legendary tales about Mr Phillips, Mr Monk recalled a dinner involving the Mayor of Frankfurt where the toasts seemed to go on for ever.
"Mervyn was dying to get out for a fag so he stood up and proposed the toast to the Queen."
He is survived by his wife, Miren, daughter Alyson, and sons Andrew and Edward.