Co-founder and Director, Alavan Business Advisory Ltd.
As Co-founder and Director of Alavan Business Advisory Ltd. since 2015, Alastair brings together his accumulated experience in business development, government relations and political analysis, with special reference to Sub-Saharan Africa in general and Zambia and its neighbors in particular.
A former career diplomat with the British foreign service (1985–2005), after moving to the city, he established himself as one of the private sector’s top political analysts globally, as well as leading a Frankfurt-listed investment fund, African Development Corporation (ADC), specializing in financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa.
As a diplomat, he served in sub-Saharan Africa, Paris (at the OECD) and the US. In London, he worked in intelligence co-ordination (including during the 1990/91 Gulf War), policy planning and economic relations, as well as running the Prime Minister's G7/8 team from 1998 to 2000. He was on secondment from the Diplomatic Service to Lehman Brothers from 2000 to 2002.
Alastair was Senior Political Analyst at Nomura International Plc. between October 2008 and July 2015, having first joined Lehman Brothers International in that capacity in August 2005. As such, he was responsible for identifying, tracking, analyzing and illuminating to investors political events worldwide likely to impact on financial markets. In addition to his signature periodical Issues Which Keep Me Awake At Night on political and geopolitical risk, he was the co-author of major studies on China, on India, on Indonesia, on North Korea, on Iran/Israel, and on geopolitical risks related to the shift of the global economic center of gravity back towards Asia as well as numerous shorter papers.
His association with ADC also began in 2008, first as an advisor to the Supervisory Board then as a member. He took over the chair in 2013, from which position he successfully oversaw the fund’s acquisition by Atlas Mara in 2014.
Alastair is immediate past-President of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (and won the 2013 BRISMES Award for services to Middle Eastern studies). He served on the Council of Chatham House from 2010 to 2015. He is currently chair of the Strategy Committee of QALIS Partners and a member of the Practitioners’ Advisory Board of the journal Global Policy. He is a frequent commentator on current politics on television and radio worldwide and a regular speaker at conferences and other events.
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