Honours: Business - Rose is knighted after making M&S flower again

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The Independent Online

This year's list paid homage to prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs after a tough year for finance with nervous markets worldwide and the first run on a British bank in 150 years.

Heading the list was Stuart Rose, credited with saving Marks & Spencer's, who was awarded a knighthood. The former trainee manager has had a glittering career in retail, rising through the ranks to become M&S's European chief in Paris before moving to the Burton group and heading Debenhams' buying and merchandising sector.

He was brought back into M&S in 2004 to reverse a decline in sales and managed to turn around the store's profits in less than three years, a feat which many analysts have hailed as a financial miracle. Part of his strategy in restoring M&S's domination of the high street, he has said, was to woo back the retailer's "neglected" female customers in the 35 to 55 age range. His knighthood comes 18 months after that of his friend and business rival Philip Green.

Also knighted was Ian McAllister, chairman of Network Rail, for services to transport.

The Hong Kong-based entrepreneur David Tang, who has already been appointed an OBE, was honoured with a knighthood in the diplomatic list for his charity work in the UK and for promoting British interests in the former colony. The British-educated entrepreneur is best known as the founder of the clothing company Shanghai Tang and is one of the booming Asian city's best known socialites. Rarely seen without one of his trademark Cuban cigars, the love affair with tobacco has led to him becoming the honorary consul for Cuba in Hong Kong.

A CBE also went to Richard Bradbury, chief executive of the clothing company River Island.

The world of fashion also featured prominently with Maurice Bennett, one of Britain's most successful retailing magnates, being appointed a CBE. The owner of the Warehouse Group, Oasis stores and Phase Eight is considered a giant within the fashion industry after a career spanning more than 50 years. He is also a well-known donor to the Tories.

OBE awards also went to two of Britain's most prominent fashion designers, Jasper Conran and Karen Millen, and to Romy Fraser, who founded the Neal's Yard Remedies chain of cosmetic stores.

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