Graham MacDonald of MBMG Group receives his MBE Award at Buckingham Palace


Last week was a hugely proud occasion for all of us, there to witness Graham MacDonald receive his MBE at Buckingham Palace.

Graham was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list, published at the end of December for “services to British business interests in Thailand.”

Thoroughly deserved and hard-earned, the reward reflects not only the blood, sweat and tears that Graham has put into turning MBMG from a pipedream into the multi award-winning “foremost advisory practice” in Asia but also years of tireless service on behalf of the British and South African chambers of commerce, the Royal Thai Board of Trade and the charitable causes closest to Graham’s heart.

Graham MacDonald.Graham MacDonald.

Back in January, when the award was announced, Graham expressed “pride and satisfaction” at being named to receive  an MBE, but was quick to thank the “colleagues, friends and vast legion of people” who, he said, had provided “outstanding support” of his efforts on behalf of the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) and at MBMG Group in particular.

“I like to think that my nomination reflects a job well done not so much by Graham Macdonald, but by the dedicated, hard-working and highly capable exceptional individuals at the BCCT and MBMG Group,” he added.

In particular Jan Sumanus, who has been with Graham on this journey has been a great support to Graham, as have all the MBMG team.

Above all, Graham’s award is rightful recognition of someone whose first reaction to any challenge is always the six words that have become his catchphrase – “We must do the right thing.” Whether referring to clients, colleagues or business partners, this has always been a shibboleth on which Graham has never brooked any compromise, setting a standard and an expectation of behaviour that everyone associated with him is expected to live up to, every minute of every day.

Educated at Repton School and the University of Bradford, since 1994 he’s been based in Thailand. He co-founded MBMG with Paul Gambles and 2 other partners in 1995.

MBE. (Photo by Chris O.)MBE. (Photo by Chris O.)

During his 18 years in Thailand, he has been active in a variety of charitable and business activities, including the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand Eastern Seaboard, of which he was the founding chairman in 1997; he later served on the main BCCT board from 1998 to 2012, latterly as Chairman in addition to also heading up its charity group for three of those years.

He is currently president of the South African Thai Chamber of Commerce and remains a director of the Board of Trade of Thailand.

Charitable interests include Care for Kids, the Lighthouse Club, a wine distribution business called World of Wine – which gives its profits to charities – and the Royal British Legion Thailand.

Today is a celebration of all things that make up the very special person that is Graham MacDonald and his outstanding achievements so far.

So, without further ado, let’s celebrate Graham and his achievements so far in the way he prefers. Please charge your glasses, be upstanding and raise a glass to Graham – ‘To Graham’.

Buckingham Palace. (Photo by David Iliff, from Wikipedia. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0)Buckingham Palace. (Photo by David Iliff, from Wikipedia. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0)