Following extensive experience in foreign exchange trading, lastly as Head Foreign Exchange Dealer at a large international bank, in 1989 Peter established Currency Management Consultants Ltd with a capital of £10,000. Today, now known as CMC Markets Plc, the company has an estimated worth of around £1 billion.
Having built an extremely successful business, some fourteen years ago Peter established The Peter Cruddas Foundation with the primary objective of helping disadvantaged and disengaged youth. This is a cause for which Peter is truly passionate since he comes from a disadvantaged background where, despite having the academic ability, family circumstances precluded him from going on to higher education and he was required to leave school at the age of 15. Now, being financially positioned to do so, helping young people to get a start in life is something Peter feels compelled to do. To date, in excess of £16 million has been granted or pledged – among some 200+ charities.
The Foundation supports charities that Peter and his fellow Trustees feel enthusiastic about. For his part, Peter is drawn in particular to the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, which provides a foundation for the development of character and of lasting qualities of good citizenship through physical and educational training, self discipline, and service to the community. Peter is particularly fond of the Prince’s Trust: “The Prince’s Trust has helped hundreds of thousands of young people to achieve their dream of becoming an entrepreneur. They don’t judge anybody. If you have been in prison and you apply to the Prince’s Trust for funding, you are as likely as anybody to receive assistance and, importantly, mentoring”.
For Peter mentoring is an important consideration: “In my case, The Scouts enabled me to escape a violent home situation and the inner city. I sincerely believe that I would not be where I am today had I not become a member. The mentoring provided helped me realise that I could achieve things which, in turn, built my self confidence”.
For many years Peter has supported the Royal Opera House and The Royal Ballet and is a Member of The Chairman’s Circle. In March 2012 Peter was invited to become a Trustee and join the Board of the Royal Opera House.
Peter is the largest individual donor to Duke of Edinburgh International Awards Association and from 2005 to 2011 he has been their Global Benefactor. In 2008 he founded the Peter Cruddas Social Innovation Initiative and in 2009 he became a founder member of the International Special Projects Group.
With The Prince's Trust Peter is again the largest individual donor. In 2007 he became an Ambassador to Team Programme.
Peter became the Founding Fellow of The Prince's Trust Enterprise Fellowship Oxford University, Harris Manchester College has awarded a full degree to Peter in 2008 and in 2012 Peter became a Trustee of the College.
In 2009 following many lectures at Loughborough University Peter was made a Visiting Professor of Enterprise and in 2011 Loughborough University awarded Peter an Honorary Doctorate for his innovation and outstanding achievement in the world of finance and for outstanding philanthropy.
From 2009 to 2011 Peter was the founding Chairman of Youth United and in 2009 he was made a Companion of Honour with The Royal Aero Club Trust.