Our Team & Associates

James Hopkinson OBE

Following a successful career in the British Army, James joined the Private Security Company, Blue Hackle, as the Director of Client Services before becoming its Chief Operating Officer.  He left in 2012 to focus on a more holistic and innovative model for non-technical risk management and co-founded Assaye Risk, where he became CEO.   James has a MA(hons) in Politics from Edinburgh University and a MA in Defence Studies from the University of Canberra.

Hugh Allen MBE

Assaye’s operational lead with more than 35 years of experience managing risk for private clients, corporate entities, governments and non-governmental organisations.

Following a long military career with the UK Special Forces Hugh has worked on projects across the world that include fraud investigations in China, the Oil for Food Investigation Programme in Iraq, and managing mine sites in Sierra Leone.

Arabella Wickham

An innovative strategist and analyst with broad, cross-sector experience spanning a number of industries, including security, food and the media.

Arabella was previously the New Business lead at Blue Hackle where she led and managed commercial bids and designed operational strategy for extractive companies in high risk environments.

Nigel Hawkins

Our Research and Analysis Director, Nigel runs the Due Diligence and Research & Analysis functions. Joining Assaye after a career in the British Army, his professional background has enabled developed capability in these fields.  Nigel has a degree in International Politics and Strategic Studies from the University of Wales.

Jamie Shaw

The Analytical Operations Manager, Jamie is a professional analyst with a wealth of operational experience covering the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Before joining Assaye Risk in Tanzania, Jamie developed an operational intelligence capability in the Niger Delta to advise the oil and gas sector.  Since joining Assaye Risk, his contributions include analysis in multi-million-dollar investigations, identifying approaches to improve stakeholder relations and providing political risk advice.


Chair of the Assaye Risk Advisory Board

John Hughes is a seasoned expert in the management of non-technical risks and external affairs. He enjoyed a highly successful career at British Petroleum where he rose to become BP’s Group Political Advisor. During his time at BP he was involved at every level – advisor, manager, and director – providing advice across BP’s operations. He has been BP’s External Affairs Director, Regional Director for Asia Pacific, their Strategy and Planning Director for Communications and External Affairs to mention just a few of his highlights. John has advised on BP’s operations across the globe from Papua to South Africa, Russia and Central and Eastern Europe to America.


Senior Advisor

Tony Ling left the British Army having enjoyed a distinguished career and having served in a number of high-profile and demanding appointments. He commanded at every level in UK Special Forces. He was awarded a CBE – previously having been awarded an MBE and OBE – for his work as brigadier in Nambia responsible for reconciliation and integration of SWAPO. He then joined British Petroleum (BP) in 1992 where he was initially the country security manager for their operations in Colombia. Subsequently he provided corporate advice for BP’s operations across S and SE Asia, the Former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and the Middle and Near East.

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