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Our people

Verisk Maplecroft employs over 100 risk analysts, quantitative researchers, sector specialists, software engineers and GIS mapping experts. All employees are handpicked to ensure they complement Verisk Maplecroft’s world class team and the company’s multidisciplinary approach to the analysis of risk. All Verisk Maplecroft analysts hold masters or PhD qualifications from the world's leading academic institutions and each is a specialist in either issue specific, regional or sector risk analysis.

Verisk Maplecroft's risk intelligence, including its unique interactive mapping platform, is delivered through innovative technology developed in-house by a large team of software engineers, GIS (Geographic Information Systems) experts, web and graphic designers.

Key personnel

Sondra Scott - President

Sondra took over as President of Verisk Maplecroft in June 2015, following 13 years at Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac), a global leader in commercial intelligence for the energy, metals and mining industries. Ms Scott will lead on the collaboration between WoodMac, Verisk Maplecroft and other members of the Verisk Analytics family of companies to extend the range of benefits they can offer clients. This will encompass developing a new product strategy to help companies in the natural resource sector navigate above-ground risks, and enhancing the organisation’s range of risk management and supply chain solutions.

Ms Scott’s time as Head of Industry and Macro Trends at WoodMac, has given her extensive experience in leading on global research projects and the development of products focusing on macro-economics, country and geopolitical risk, while she has also led the company’s energy consultancy practice. Prior to joining WoodMac, Sondra was a director with a leading US based energy consulting business where she co-founded and led its Latin American advisory services practice.

She has an MS from the University of Pennsylvania, a Diplome d'Ingenieur from the Institut Francais du Petrole, and a BA from Wesleyan University.

Dr Kevin Franklin

Dr Kevin Franklin - Chief Operating Officer

Kevin has worked at Maplecroft since 2003. During this time he’s been instrumental in the development of our risk index and country risk report methodologies and has also lead our multi-award winning advisory services team. Kevin’s work has included the development and implementation of risk management strategies, annual and sustainability reporting as well as implementation of our suite of strategic / responsible online sourcing programmes. Kevin has a PhD in Business Studies from Warwick Business School and over 15 years experience advising the world’s leading multi-nationals on organisational change, stakeholder engagement and metrics driven risk and sustainability management in developed and developing country contexts. This includes extensive work in the mining, oil and gas, food and beverage and financial services sectors. Kevin is an experienced auditor to the ISO 14001, ISO 14064 and SA 8000 standards and has authored numerous reports for high-level international fora.

Dr Kevin Franklin

James Rutherford - Chief Technology Officer

James heads the technical teams at Maplecroft and is responsible for setting the overall technology strategy for the company. His background is in software engineering, and he has a personal focus on data management, index calculation methodology and tools, and bespoke software development projects for clients. Before joining Maplecroft, James worked in industrial research at HP Labs, leading projects ranging from open source digital library platforms to cloud repository infrastructure. He has a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh.

James Rutherford

Gus Macfarlane - Director

Gus trained in international law in the City and in international security at the University of St. Andrews. He has worked in the Lloyd's insurance market and the European Commission, where he trained with the terrorism and security cooperation unit. At Maplecroft, he is an integral part of the consultancy team and advises companies operating in emerging markets and the developing world on a range of issues including community relations, human rights, anti-corruption and stakeholder engagement. Gus also works with the political risk team, concentrating on sub-Saharan Africa and the extractive industries.

Gus Macfarlane

Anthony Skinner - Director

Anthony is a Director at Maplecroft and is responsible for coordinating and managing client deliverables. In addition to his general managerial responsibilities in the Country Risks division, Anthony heads the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) practice which delivers in-depth analysis for the world’s leading multinationals on country and regional-level risks. Anthony presents on the Middle East at such conferences and events as the UNGC/PRI Expert Group Meeting, the Oxford Anti-Corruption Conference and the Windsor Debates. He is regularly quoted in the international media, including the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Bloomberg, the Associated Press, the BBC, CNN and CNBC.

Prior to joining Maplecroft, Anthony worked as a project coordinator, senior editor and a political and business risk analyst in Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt and Kuwait. He continues to write pieces for the Financial Times and for Middle East Magazine. He has an MA Honours in Politics from the University of Edinburgh and an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics (LSE).

Anthony Skinner

Helen Hodge - Associate Director

Helen works as part of our Business Development team and leads on assisting clients to leverage Maplecroft products and services in online dashboards tailored to their specific requirements e.g. supply chain management tools, human rights due diligence, business continuity analysis, asset security profiling etc. Prior to this role Helen lead Maplecroft’s Maps and Indices team where she was responsible for the delivery of Maplecroft’s suite of Atlases. She has eight years’ experience in quantifying and communicating key risk issues. In particular, Helen specialises in the analysis of natural hazards and disasters and also brings an extensive knowledge of environmental risks. Before joining Maplecroft Helen worked in probabilistic modelling of catastrophe events for the insurance and reinsurance industry. She has particular expertise in the impact of catastrophic events from both a humanitarian and economic perspective and has been widely quoted in broadcast, online and print media. She holds a masters degree in Geography from the University of Bristol.

Helen Hodge

Guy Bailey - Associate Director

Guy leads Maplecroft’s maps and indices team and is responsible for the company’s unique portfolio of global risk analytics and Risk Atlases. His team produce more than 200 political, economic, societal and environmental risk indices and interactive maps, which are used by global organisations to identify trends, assess current risks on the ground and forecast the trajectory of risk in countries worldwide. Guy also leads Maplecroft’s security and terrorism team who research and catalogue all reported incidents of terrorism, piracy, threats to corporate security and human rights violations by armed forces. Guy has masters’ degrees from the University of York and Birkbeck College, University of London.

Guy Bailey

Dr Mark McClelland - Associate Director

Mark leads Maplecroft's North America practice - analysing risks and opportunities in the US and Canada, particularly above-ground risks in the oil and gas sector. Mark is a recognised authority on the unconventional energy boom, with his analysis of the geopolitical implications of US shale appearing as the featured article in 'International Affairs' at the end of 2013. Mark is also responsible for wider geopolitical research at the company, including reviewing and editing Maplecroft's daily 'Global Risks Forecast' analysis. Mark holds a PhD in US foreign policy from the University of Birmingham and his analysis has featured in numerous international print and broadcast media outlets.

Mark McClelland

Dr James Allan - Associate Director

James heads Maplecroft’s Environment and Climate Change practice. In this capacity he is responsible for managing the research and analysis of key environmental and climate change issues and the communication of key risks to clients. James also leads on Maplecroft’s analysis of ESG risks related to hard and soft commodities to inform responsible sourcing programmes and investment decision making. He has managed or co-written risks reports on over 100 countries across six continents and 50 commodities, including multiple sector-specific reports for extractives, FMCG, and financial services clients. Finally, James designs, coordinates and delivers Maplecroft’s training packages, including our Certificate in Country Risk Assessment. Prior to joining Maplecroft, James worked as an environmental specialist for an international engineering and design firm based in London, UK. He holds a PhD in City and Regional Planning from Cardiff University.

James Allan

James Lockhart-Smith - Associate Director

James leads Maplecroft’s work on Latin America, analysing a wide range of risks and issues across a number of countries in the region. Prior to Maplecroft he worked at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London, where he focused on Latin American defence and security policies and challenges. He contributed analysis on Latin America to the Military Balance and is the principal author of the IISS Strategic Dossier The FARC Files: Venezuela, Ecuador and the Secret Archive of ‘Raúl Reyes’, published in May 2011, as well as a number of shorter pieces. He obtained an MSc with Distinction in Latin American Politics from the Institute for the Study of the Americas (ISA) in London. He is regularly quoted in international media outlets on Latin American subjects.

James Lockhart-Smith

Dr Guo Yu - Head of Asia

Guo is the Head of Asia team at Maplecroft, where he leads a group of experienced risk analysts working on a wide range issues across the regions of East, South-East and South Asia. Guo’s team provide multinational clients with in-depth research and analysis on political landscape, conflict and security, economy, regulatory and business environment covering many of the world’s key growth markets, such as China, India, Myanmar and Thailand. In particular, Guo is a recognised thought leader on China, as well as geopolitical dynamics of East Asia. Prior to joining Maplecroft in 2012, Guo completed a PhD in Chinese politics at the University of Birmingham, specialised in nationalism and Sino-Japanese relations. As well as advising corporate clients, Guo is also experienced in engaging with the media and is regularly quoted in leading international publications.

Arvind Ramakrishnan

Dr Charles Laurie - Head of Africa

Charles is Head of the Africa team at Maplecroft where he focuses on risk assessment for the extractive, telecommunications and agriculture sectors in sub-Saharan Africa. His team provides analytical research on political stability, conflict, economy and the strength of business environments. In particular, Charles focuses on monitoring and evaluating risk in South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. He has engaged and advised a broad range of clients from oil and gas companies to regional governments and intergovernmental organisations. He has experience engaging with a range of stakeholders in Africa, including officials in senior government positions and the security sector. Charles also brings substantial field experience in sub-Saharan Africa, and specialist expertise in researching challenging contexts such as conflict environments.

Charles Laurie

Dr Florian Otto - Head of Eurasia

Florian leads Maplecroft’s Eurasia practice, directing Maplecroft’s country risks research and analysis on Europe and the former Soviet states. He advises multinational clients from a broad variety of sectors on risks to investments and existing operations across Europe. Florian is a specialist in political risk analysis, with a regional focus on northern and western Europe. Before joining Maplecroft, Florian did extensive research on warning of intra-state conflict and the changing nature of international media coverage. He holds a PhD in War Studies from King’s College London. His work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, as well as various trade publications.

Dr Florian Otto

Richard Hall - Financial Controller

Richard is responsible for all financial functions within the company, ranging from financial reporting, to accounts payable and credit control. He is a fully qualified Management Accountant (ACMA), with a BA (Hons) in Combined Business, and over 10 years’ experience working in Finance – most of which was spent within the UK’s largest manufacturing firms. Prior to joining Maplecroft, Richard worked as a management accountant for a leading manufacturer and retailer of luxury leather goods.

Richard Hall

Jason McGeown - Head of Communications

Jason directs external communications and media relations for Maplecroft. He engages with the print, broadcast and online media on a daily basis to ensure a constant flow of news relating to Maplecroft’s research and analysis reaches key business audiences, via organisations such as Bloomberg, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Reuters and CNBC. Jason also oversees online and offline marketing, including Maplecroft’s website. He is a media professional with extensive experience in the broadcast industry, working on the development, production and promotion of high-end documentaries and current affairs programming for UK and international audiences, including at the BBC. He has a degree in English and American Studies and a post-graduate diploma in journalism. Prior to joining Maplecroft he worked as Head of Film at a VOD documentary channel and as Head of Communications at an international documentary distributor.

Jason McGeown