Alavan Business Advisory Limited (aka Alavan Zambia) is a Zambia-registered consultancy which was set up by Alastair Newton and Clare Sullivan in 2012.
As Co-founder and Director of Alavan Business Advisory Ltd, 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 neighbours in particular.
Following a two decade career with the British foreign service, he moved to the City in 2005 where he established myself as one of the private sector’s top political analysts globally, as well as leading a Frankfurt-listed investment fund, African Development Corporation (ADC), specialising in financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Alastair served as 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, analysing and illuminating to investors political events worldwide which are 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 centre of gravity back towards Asia, as well as numerous shorter papers.
Alastair’s 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.
In addition to his contribution to the growth of ADC, his business development experience includes three years (2002-2005) as Director of the UK government’s business development arm, UK Trade & Investment, in the USA advising US companies on establishing and expanding in the United Kingdom and aiding British firms looking to export to America.
Alastair is a 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. And he is currently chair of the Strategy Committee of QALIS Partners; a member of the Advisory Board of Africon GmbH; a member of the Practitioners’ Advisory Board of the journal Global Policy; a guest editor of the journal Arab Digest; and a Global Mentor under BMCE Bank of Africa’s African Entrepreneurship Award scheme.
He is a frequent commentator on current politics on television and radio worldwide and a regular speaker at conferences and other events.
In this age of increasing complexity and information overload, Alastair firmly believes that, although sound analytical skills are essential to both strands of his work, at least as important is an ability to get to the ‘right’ people through the establishment and nurturing of policy- and investment-related networks worldwide, an area in which he specialises.