Azure Strategy

Bringing Clarity through Insight

Maximise your presence in the Gulf and Middle East

About us

Azure Strategy offers specialist guidance to corporate clients and investors keen to understand how developments in the region will impact their operations and interests.

Opportunities in MENA are abundant – but the political, macroeconomic, security and business landscapes are complex; we guarantee the highest level of insight and expertise and conduct our work with the utmost confidentiality and discretion.

We work with clients that are looking to enter a new market, grow in an existing one or better understand their operating environment. Our services are fully tailored so clients can be confident in their decision-making.

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Meet the team

Azure Strategy’s in-house advisers have substantive experience of the geopolitics, security, finance and media landscapes of the Gulf, Middle East and North Africa.

Their specialist knowledge of the region’s geopolitical and domestic policy arena, financial and energy market trends, and business and macroeconomic environment is integral to our work and enables us to deliver a service of lasting value to our clients.

Dr Neil Quilliam

Managing Director & Head of Strategy

Rachna Uppal

Director of Research

Alice Gower

Director of Geopolitics & Security

Mohamad Hany Nassar

Macroeconomic and Financial Markets Consultant

Amy Stapleton

Chief Editor

Dr Neil Quilliam

Managing Director & Head of Strategy

Neil leads the strategic advisory practice at Azure Strategy and is responsible for driving forward the company’s mission and objectives. He works closely with the senior team to drive a results-oriented service for clients.

Neil is a foreign affairs specialist with extensive experience consulting to government officials and corporate clients on geopolitics and energy in the Middle East. His previous positions include CEO of Castlereagh Associates and Senior Energy Adviser to the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He is also an Associate Fellow at Chatham House. Neil has lived in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE. He is a fluent Arabic speaker and regular marathon runner and is often in trainers during meetings.

nquilliam@azure-strategy.com

Rachna Uppal

Director of Research

Rachna leads the research practice at Azure Strategy, with a particular focus on the economy and financial services sector in the GCC and North Africa. She was previously at Castlereagh Associates, where she developed and headed the macroeconomic and financial analysis practice.

Rachna has spent several years living and working in the Gulf, most recently as head of GCC fixed income news and analysis for Thomson Reuters in Dubai. She has worked at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London, analysing transitional economies, and in EU public affairs in Brussels. Rachna holds a Masters degree from the London School of Economics and a diploma from Sciences Po, Paris. She is a fluent French speaker.

ruppal@azure-strategy.com

Alice Gower

Director of Geopolitics & Security

Alice leads the geopolitical risk and security practice at Azure Strategy. She has advised government departments and corporate clients on major security themes and developments in the Middle East, with particular experience analysing conflicts in Libya, Yemen, and Iraq.

Alice previously worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK, on the response to the Arab Spring and broader regional security themes. She has also worked in global government affairs for a major UK IOC.

agower@azure-strategy.com

Mohamad Hany Nassar

Macroeconomic and Financial Markets Consultant

Mohamad Hany Nassar is a macroeconomic and financial markets specialist with eight years’ experience in emerging market economies in the MENA region, including KSA, UAE and Egypt. He has extensive experience advising senior stakeholders at CEO, CFO, vice minister and ministerial advisor levels within the financial and non-financial sectors. Mohamad is a native Arabic speaker and holds an MPA in Economic Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Amy Stapleton

Chief Editor

Amy has extensive experience working with policy thinkers, analysts and journalists to produce top-quality research and web articles on MENA politics, business, economy and more. She earned her stripes working at Castlereagh Associates, as head of the company’s editorial operations.

Amy has spent much of her working life overseas, first in Japan, then Turkey and finally Germany. She is London based for now but has a bag packed on the off chance that Azure needs an editor abroad.

astapleton@azure-strategy.com

What we offer

Azure Strategy’s core focus is on supporting clients to achieve their business and investment objectives in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and to analyse developments in the wider region that may effect their decision-making.

We offer strategic advice and research bespoke to our clients’ needs. Our well-established network of consultants on the ground and team of global experts ensures that our insight and access to the region is unparalleled.

Our services