Our approach covers the entire spectrum of global macro, geopolitical and economic risk analysis, management and strategy formation.
Our service modules develop a 360-degree view of a client's geopolitical and macro risk environment and provide a consistent perspective on how to successfully navigate a volatile and complex geostrategic space.
Our services are guided by methodologies developed in-house and supplemented by specific, external standards where necessary. They meet the needs of company executives and committees, in particular the board of directors, supervisory board, CFOs, risk officers or department heads, as well as corresponding units and officials in public institutions who seek to develop a concise perspective on their strategic environment.
Our assessments are organized around three levels.
Level One Assessment
Based on a solid methodological foundation, our analysts develop a general assessment of the client‘s geostrategic risk profile based on publicly available sources. They document the geopolitical risk environment, provide insights into the behaviour of the most relevant risks and assess the specific consequences of a fluid geopolitical environment on the client’s key performance indicators. They develop generic approaches for improving existing risk management practices and for building out supplementary risk management approaches.
This initial assessment allows analysts to draw conclusions with regards to the geostrategic positioning of the company or investment portfolio and together with the client develop further options to engage more deliberately with a dynamically evolving geostrategic space and build competitive advantage.
Level Two Assessment
Building on the hypotheses generated in a Level One Assessment, a Level Two Assessment is embedded in more formal risk management methodologies. Analysts bring together a comprehensive and formalised documentation of the company's risk environment in form of a risk inventory and evaluate the consequences of individual risks for central management areas. They provide deepened insights about the potential behaviour of risks and develop alternative scenarios with regards to policy outcomes.
The deliverables of a Level Two Assessment serve as shared reference point for management navigating the company through an uncertain geopolitical environment, drives the focused development of the company’s risk management capacities and is used as essential element in strategy development processes.
Level Three Assessment
Based on Level One and Two Assessments, analysts develop a detailed risk profile based on non-public data provided by the company, consolidating the findings of the first two steps. Analysts create in-depth assessments in selected risk areas and develop specific options for action, including operational instruments.
On the basis of that detailed analysis, the development of a geopolitical and macro-risk adjusted growth strategy is the focus of a Level Three Assessment. Prior risk assessments transform into a starting point for the further development of the company's strategic orientation, translating superior risk management capacity into a sustainable competitive advantage or developing further strategic transformation processes.
Our Special Situations work looks at unique risks and opportunities emerging within specific policy arenas. Geostrategic risks always represent themselves in different shapes and forms for individual market participant - that's why we are happy to offer you a dedicated solution.
In whatever we do, our work is driven by seven convictions.
Geopolitics is transforming from a marginal to a central driver of market outcomes.
Accept that a dynamically evolving geostrategic environment plays an increasingly important role in driving market outcomes and investment performance. Whilst the long-standing consensus has been that economics and finance are somehow decoupled from whatever happens in politics, the past few years have moved politics back into the center. Geopolitics does not explain all market movement - but it explains more and more and has become an important macro theme.
Dealing with the perception of perceived randomness vs. systematic monitoring.
Acknowledge that the tensions generated by economic integration and political fragmentation are no random phenomena, but can be systematically analyzed and monitored. Develop the capacity to do so. As Henry Kissinger remarked, an issue ignored is a crisis invited. If an institution does not fully comprehend the geopolitical arena in which it is operating, it could well face a crisis hitting it unprepared. It can choose to live with possible surprises, but the smarter move is to develop a clear, and not least shared understanding what is going on.
Overcoming the tension between qualitative and qualitative analysis.
Accept that geopolitical risk analysis is largely based on qualitative data – that it is a “soft science”. Whilst the discursive nature of geopolitical risk analysis has posed a serious obstacle to finding its way into quantitatively oriented economic and financial analysis, the observation that issues that count are often not countable could not be more appropriate. In that spirit, do not let the inability to communicate across analytical disciplines prevent developing a full picture of the world out there.
Identifying transmission channels is key.
Be aware of the transmission channels through which geopolitical and geoeconomic risks impact businesses success, investment portfolios, or government performance - even though these risks might often look too distant to really matter. The ways in which geopolitical events and trends are transformed into a measurable risk are often blurred. Uncovering them is a key challenge for setting up effective (geo)political risk management capacity. Also, be conscious that geopolitical risks do not always announce themselves in big news headlines. Many are decidedly context specific and difficult to detect.
All geopolitical risks are context specific.
Avoid off-the-shelf geopolitical risk analyses. Political risks play out very differently for different actors. No geopolitical risk universe will look the same to one market participant, investment portfolio, corporate strategy or government agency as to another. Transmission channels and the impact of geopolitical risk will fundamentally differ; only a tailor-made geopolitical risk universe will help to distinguish between relevant information and noise.
Geopolitical risk management capacity is a strategic asset.
Make the most of systematic geopolitical risk analysis. Markets tend to overprice current geopolitical risk events and undervalue longer-term geopolitical trends. Thorough and timely political risk analysis can help to spot openings. Be as well aware that sound geopolitical analysis can provide a competitive edge as it enables those using it to go with confidence where others don’t.
From diffuse perception to strategic perspective.
Finally, distinguish between a subjective opinion about what politics ought to be doing and a realistic perspective of the outcomes politics might produce. One might or might not be satisfied with how the world has been managing through the Covid-19 crisis. One might have strong views about how great power rivalry is going to shape the world. But geopolitical analysis must go a step further and turn diffuse perceptions about what is going on into strategic perspectives on risks and opportunities.