From its establishment as a one man start up in London, Global Strategies Group (‘GLOBAL’) quickly grew from a strategic risk consultancy for government and commercial organisations, to providing a comprehensive range of strategic and operational support in challenging environments, including physical security services, training and capacity building, aviation security and complex logistics.
Early projects included supporting the United Nations in post conflict Kosovo, dealing with complex border security challenges in south-east Africa, providing risk and political assessments to commercial organisations, and maritime anti-piracy consultancy in Asia.
After the attacks of September 11, 2001, GLOBAL was one of the very first organisations to enter Afghanistan, in November of that year.
GLOBAL established the first non-military air service in to the country, enabling the company to expand its capabilities and undertake many critical defence, diplomacy and development programmes in support of the international community and the Afghan population and economy.
Amongst the early projects was a secure logistics operation to transport cash for the UN by air between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Given the large sums involved, GLOBAL designed a pioneering Lloyds of London backed insurance ‘wrap’ product for the contract, an innovation which later formed a valuable service to many other clients.
These early successes provided a foundation for the company’s significant and long-term presence in Afghanistan and the region, that also included organising the first rounds of Parliamentary and Presidential elections, conducting a nationwide census and voter registration, running counter narcotics and alternative livelihood programmes, conducting police training, supporting regional intelligence gathering and counter terrorism, securing Kabul and Kandahar Airports, and a wide range of diplomatic security projects.
As GLOBAL consolidated its presence in the region, it was brought in to the process of establishing the first ever elected Afghan government and played a key role in the foundation of the country’s new monetary system.
As a key player in complex post-conflict environments, GLOBAL was tasked to expand its operation into Iraq.
In March 2003 GLOBAL co-ordinated and lead the secure movement of the post Saddam government administration – the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (later the ‘Coalition Provisional Authority’) from Kuwait to Baghdad, including responsibility for the protection of CPA leadership. GLOBAL also worked closely with the US Government to establish and secure the Greenzone in Baghdad, and nine other secure CPA locations around the country.
Subsequently, GLOBAL undertook a wide number of ground-breaking security programmes including; designing and implementing the secure delivery of the new Iraqi currency to more than 250 locations across the country; managing complex aviation security operations at Baghdad, Mosul and Najaf Airports; running vital supply missions to regional cities; establishing new procedures for the inter-operation of government and private security organisations; and securing a wide variety of critical infrastructure and high risk facilities nationwide.
The company continued to develop rapidly, expanding in to a Group structure with business worldwide, opening regional commercial offices in more than a dozen cities – including Washington, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore. The operational footprint also expanded to include much of Africa, Middle East and Latin America.
GLOBAL always applied an innovative, ‘solutions based’ approach, and increasingly integrated technology in to its capabilities, to mitigate complex risks. This was a key element of the Group strategy to expand in to new areas of the Government mission, to increase profile and capabilities and, by accessing greater long term defence and national security opportunities, to create a more diversified and sustainable business model.
This expansion and diversification strategy saw the establishment of a technology division in the Group through which, in February 2007, GLOBAL completed the acquisition of the US systems engineering and intelligence analysis businesses – SFA Inc. and The Analysis Corporation. This major initiative, entirely financed by GLOBAL re-investing its earnings, immediately gave the Group new higher value capabilities and qualifications, and access to new customers, programmes and funding streams.
Having completed the outright acquisitions of SFA and TAC, GLOBAL rebranded them as Global Defense Technology & Systems (GTEC) and began to re-organise and transform the two businesses while creating operational and commercial synergies across the entire Group.
By improving strategy, best practices and driving business development, GTEC increased revenue and profitability and enhanced its mission critical counter-terrorism, intelligence, systems engineering and force mobility capabilities. This accelerated growth, achieved when much of the rest of the defence sector was declining, allowed GLOBAL to take GTEC public with an IPO on NASDAQ in November 2009.
During the following two years, GLOBAL continued to drive GTEC expansion in the US defence technology and intelligence markets, including acquiring two more companies specialising in cyber security and software engineering.
By this point GLOBAL was a truly worldwide enterprise, with its technology and services divisions employing approximately five thousand highly capable people in a range of national security related roles. The Group was making a positive difference to the lives of millions of people.
While technology had become the focus, the Group’s services division continued to grow, evolving new offerings and expanding in to new geographies on major US Government and other related programmes.
Also in 2011, GLOBAL gained an exceptional return on investment in the technology division when it sold GTEC to a private equity group, thus adding to its already strong balance sheet and enabling further investment opportunities across the Group.
Following the sale of GTEC, GLOBAL embarked on a major new investment initiative to complete the evolution from a services-based business to one operating at the technological cutting edge of defence and national security.
GLOBAL established a special purpose acquisition company – Global Defense & National Security Systems, Inc. (GDEF) – which it then took public on NASDAQ with another IPO, in order to make investments in technology companies designing next generation software and systems in cyber security, data management and analytics, and C4ISR.
As the sponsor and key stakeholder in GDEF, the aim for GLOBAL was to once again leverage its experience as an operator and investor in the defence sector to buy, transform, build and sell cutting edge defence sector companies, accelerating their business growth through access to extensive GLOBAL networks, strategic expertise, business development and management best practices.
As a sector leader in national security, and in line with its technology driven strategy, GLOBAL also contributed to Government policy debate on the importance of technology superiority in addressing increasingly complex security threats.
GLOBAL achieved another milestone in June 2015 by successfully completing the first ever US defence sector ‘SPAC’, with the transaction by GDEF to acquire and then merge in to a cyber security, software and intelligence solutions provider to US government agencies.
The Group’s investment in cutting edge technology was not just confined to the US public market. GLOBAL also made focussed investments in niche capabilities, such as biometrics, to then bring these capabilities to new national security customers.
As a strategic investor, GLOBAL was also invited to inform the debate on enhancing national security through new industry investment models. The Group lead a landmark report from RUSI, the foremost UK national security think tank, which developed a future R&D roadmap for the UK defence sector.
These successful initiatives led to the GLOBAL CEO being named as one of the “top executives to watch” in the US defence sector.
From establishment as a one man start up in 1998, through its development and growth during a continuous period of intense and systemic worldwide change, Global Strategies Group created an extraordinary record of unmatched achievement and success.
Since 2016, GLOBAL has been part of the Damazein Group, a private wealth management company, as a key element in their investment strategy to help address the essential work and life needs of the 21st century.