Since the latter half of the 20th century the need has grown significantly for investors of money (and other resources), in regions/countries that are new to them and/or are subject to instability, to understand the political risk associated with such investment/involvement and how this can be mitigated. This need has had various drivers, including the desire to build new markets, often in areas subject to political uncertainty and instability.
However, it is not only businesses who want to understand and reduce political risk but also governments and NGOs as they seek to work with and in countries around the world. Specific concerns can be, government instability, nationalisation, currency inconvertibility, expropriation of profits and property, changes in the taxation regime, terrorism, levels of crime and threats to the security of personnel and increasingly the ethical concerns associated with corporate social responsibility objectives and reputations.
Political risk analysts may work within government, global businesses, international organisations, insurance companies, consultancies, banks, rating agencies, security consultancies or for a growing number of online sites that specialise in the sale of political and economic risk information. The businesses and organisations listed below include risk management consultancies and information and analysis providers and advisers.
The Multilateral Investments Guarantee Agency (MIGA), part of the World Bank Group, website contains useful information on Political Risk Insurance (PRI) and this includes lists of PRI providers, intermediaries, advisors and consultants.
Internships and similar are an important route into employment in political risk analysis as some evidence of relevant experience/interest is usually required.
There is no one ideal degree subject but history, politics, economics, law, international relations, development studies and related degrees are likely to be regarded as particularly relevant . Although not always essential, a postgraduate degree can be an asset especially if it brings expertise in a country or region and experience of conducting research. It is also possible to move into political analysis from other career areas, e.g. journalism, law, insurance, consultancy, banking and NGOs.
Relevant skills and competencies include, research and analysis, written and oral communication, time management, decision making, working with others and one or more languages in addition to English, e.g. Russian, Arabic, Farsi and Chinese can also be an asset.
Organisations concerned with political risk, security and associated activities
AKE Limited was founded by Andrew Kain in 1991, to provide security and political risk management to businesses, NGOs and the media. The company provides a wide and integrated range of services, intelligence, training, products and technology.
Careers: AKE Intelligence runs a 3-month internship programme quarterly from its London office and occasionally from its other offices by special arrangement. The positions are unpaid. Hours of work are flexible and the position would best suit someone studying within the UK higher education system. Those interested in applying should find formal adverts placed here.
Blackpeak is an international investigative research and risk advisory firm dedicated to uncovering critical risk-related information for clients worldwide. The firm specializes in investigative due diligence, investigations and security, and business intelligence research. Each project is executed by an in-house team with unmatched in-country expertise, using customized investigative methodologies.
Founded in Asia, the firm now operates from strategic locations in key financial and economic centers, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and New York.
Careers: Blackpeak offers both full-time positions and internships, please see the careers section for current vacancies and application details.
Established in 1984, Business Monitor International is a print and online publisher of specialist business information on global emerging markets. Their range of daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly services covers political risk, finance, macroeconomic performance, outlook and forecast, industry sectors and the business operating environment. BMI also publishes directories and CD-ROMs profiling multinational companies active in emerging markets. BMI's client and subscriber base includes financial institutions, corporates, multinationals, government and academia in over 125 countries.
Careers: BMI post jobs and internships on their website.
Chatham House, home of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, is a world-leading source of independent analysis, informed debate and influential ideas on how to build a prosperous and secure world for all. The institute engages governments, private sector, civil society about significant developments in international affairs, produces analysis.
Careers: They offer internships, fellowships and jobs which can be found online.
Control Risk is an independent, specialist risk consultancy with 18 offices on five continents. They provide advice and services that enable companies, governments and international organisations to accelerate opportunities and manage strategic and operational risks. They work with corporate, government and non-governmental clients.
Careers: In addition to advertising vacancies in all their offices on their website they also accept speculative applications, which you will find details of on their recruitment pages.
The EIU provides a constant flow of analysis and forecasts on more than 200 countries and six key industries. They help executives make informed business decisions through dependable intelligence delivered online, in print, in customised research as well as through conferences and peer interchange. Recruitment and internships are offered through the Economist Group website.
Careers: Research internships at the EUI are usually attached to one of the regional teams (Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Middle East & North Africa, Latin America, plus Economics/Data Services for those with a particular interest in macroeconomic data and Excel). There are also internship opportunities in Wire Services, which is responsible for generating daily political, economic and market analysis on 201 countries, and Executive Services, which is home to their custom publishing and research activities. Applicants should have an interest in economics and should be undertaking undergraduate or post-graduate studies that include economics. Most internships take place during the summer; however, a few internships are also offered at other times of the year.
Eurasia Group is a leading global political risk advisory and consulting firm. They cover political, social, security and economic developments worldwide. Coverage is organized into four geographic practices: Asia, Europe & Eurasia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa, and well as a Global Macro Practice Group and a Transnational Issues Practice Group. They provide clients with political risk assessments, quantitative risk metrics and evaluation and independent research.
Careers: Jobs and internships are posted on their websites for offices in New York, Washington and London.
Euromonitor International is an independent provider of paper-based and online business intelligence on industries, countries and consumers. Offices in 11 countries, including London, Singapore and Dubai.
Careers: Job vacancies for analysts are advertised on their website
Exclusive Analysis is a strategic intelligence company that forecasts political risk worldwide enabling global organisations to manage complex risk successfully and profitably. Clients include: banks, oil and mining companies, the insurance sector, airlines and shipping, governments, NGOs and media organisations.
Careers: If you are interested in applying you can find more information on their careers website.
Gatehouse Advisory Partners
Gatehouse is a London-based geopolitical consultancy founded by Sir Jeremy Greenstock and Sir David Manning. We advise multinational businesses and investors on their sensitivity to changes in the external environment that could affect their business operations and profitability. Our global network of over 2,500 expert contributors gives us up to date insights into every key market in the world, and we service clients from every sector. Whilst research plays a key role in building our in-house expertise on issues, project delivery is in-person and bespoke to each client's needs and dependencies.
Careers: Gatehouse has a range of internship and hiring opportunities in 2018/19. If you are interested in applying for a position, please email Jack Lambert (JL@gatehousap.com) attaching a CV and a 300-500 word writing sample outlining why you think companies should care about geopolitics.
Global Risk Insights (GRI) is a world leading publication providing political risk analysis for the business community. They are bringing the political risk industry into the 21st century by making it more accessible and innovative.
GRI has over 160 analysts on their team based around the world, ranging from former intelligence officers, presidential advisors, industry experts to professors. The publication's analysis has been widely referenced, including by leading think-tanks, financial institutions, military generals, former foreign ministers and major media outlets, such as BBC World, The Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine, The New Yorker and many others.
GPW is a political risk, investigations and dispute consulting firm with offices in London, Dubai and Singapore. Our work supports clients in navigating complex commercial situations with confidence. We fill information gaps in difficult markets, provide actionable business intelligence, and help resolve commercial disputes. We focus on emerging and frontier markets including Russia and the wider Eurasia region, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
IHS provides technical information, tools and operational and advisory services necessary to help them make critical business decisions, maximize their core business processes and improve productivity in many industry sectors including country and industry forecasting. IHS Global Insight provides comprehensive economic, financial, and political coverage of countries, regions, and industries, covering over 200 countries.
Careers: Jobs advertised on their website.
International Risk Consultants, Inc. (IRC) is a global brokerage specializing in trade credit insurance, political risk insurance, and trade finance solutions. The firm also brokers credit information, collections services, and other trade-related products. Offices in Asia, Brazil, India and North America.
Careers: Job vacancies advertised on their website.
The IISS is a source of accurate, objective information on international strategic issues for politicians and diplomats, foreign affairs analysts, international business, economists, the military, defence commentators, journalists, academics and the informed public. The IISS's work is grounded in an appreciation of the various political, economic and social problems that cause instability, as well as the factors that can lead to international cooperation. It is an independent institute and it alone decides what activities to conduct. It owes no allegiance to any government, or to any political or other organisation.
Careers: From time to time IISS offer internships in London and Washington.
Maplecroft is a leading risk analytics, research and strategic forecasting company. We offer an unparalleled portfolio of risk indices, interactive maps, expert country risk analysis, risk calculators, scorecards and dashboards. It has a strong corporate client base and research partnerships with leading international organisations, such as those within the auspices of the United Nations, the World Economic Forum and prominent independent non-governmental organisations. Produces a variety of publications, including an annual Human Rights Risk report.
Oxford Analytica is an international, independent consulting firm drawing on a network of over 1,000 senior faculty members at Oxford and other major universities and research institutions around the world. They provide business and government leaders with geopolitical, macroeconomic and social analysis of developments around the world. Offices in Oxford (UK), Hong Kong, Paris and Washington DC and New York (USA).
The RAND Corporation is a US-based (but with offices in Cambridge and Qatar) non-profit institution that seeks to improve policy and decision making through research and analysis. Their research includes such social and economic issues as education, poverty, crime, and the environment, as well as a range of national security issues.
Careers: RAND offers a number of internship and fellowship programs. The Graduate Student Summer Associate Program allows outstanding students to conduct short-term independent research within the framework of an ongoing RAND project and are mentored by RAND staff. RAND also provides postdoctoral candidates with the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and skills through several RAND division fellowships and programs. There is NO requirement to be a US citizen. Otherwise, jobs are also available to view on their website.
The Risk Advisory Group is a leader in risk management. They specialise in providing strategic analysis, advisory services and operational support to a wide range of private and public sector organisations. In the last 10 years they have conducted assignments in more than 100 countries. Offices in London, Middle East, East Africa and Russia.
Careers: The Group advertise vacancies on their website. Also offers internships which can be viewed on their website.
SET Advisory is a London-based consultancy that services an international client base providing corporate investigations, business intelligence, political risk assessments and advisory services.
They have an extensive network in Africa, Middle East, Western Europe and Latin America. Their team is skilled, experienced and discreet, allowing them to work closely with clients to mitigate risks and make informed decisions in challenging business environments.
SET Advisory's clients include financial institutions, international oil & gas companies, law firms, consumer goods manufacturers, international consultancies and high-net-worth individuals.
Careers: SET Advisory will advertise any relevant job vacancies on the LSE Careers Hub website.