Bankers often keep a low profile, but Charles Coltman 3d remembers the time he had to go incognito to get his job done.

It was September 1979, and Mr. Coltman had been dispatched to Iran by his employer, Philadelphia National Bank, to collect funds due from Iranian banks after Islamic fundamentalists seized power. Assessing the situation in strife-torn Teheran, Mr. Coltman discarded his business suit for a scruffy shirt, sandals, and a three-day growth of beard.

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