Anthony Watson, group chief executive and founder of The Bank of London, has been named Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).

This was in His Majesty the King’s inaugural Birthday Honours for services to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, equality, and diversity.

Watson has a well-known background in business, philanthropy, and active advocate for LGBT rights.

He is one of only a handful of people in the world to successfully launch financial disrupters in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Watson is also a veteran of both Wall Street and the City of London.

The King’s Birthday Honours acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments of individuals from all walks of life throughout the Commonwealth and the United Kingdom.

CBE is the highest-ranked Order of the British Empire Honour (excluding Knighthood/Damehood), ranking above the OBE, MBE, and BEM in terms of precedence.

Harvey Schwartz, group chairperson of The Bank of London commented: “On behalf of our Board and everyone at our firm, I would like to congratulate Anthony on this tremendous honour, which has been bestowed for his tireless support to the LGBT community. As Britain’s only gay bank CEO, and the first LGBT person in Europe to found a bank, he leads our firm daily with pride, passion, and courage.”

Anthony Watson CBE, group chief executive & founder of The Bank of London, added: “I am quite literally stunned and humbled at being appointed CBE by His Majesty the King for services to the LGBT Community, for Equality and to Diversity. I accept this honour with immense gratitude.”

The Bank of London is the United Kingdom’s major clearing bank and the world’s only mass-commercial sovereign-system reserve bank.

It puts depositors’ money and market stability ahead of credit risk or chasing large returns.