The Board 


Executive Chairman

Nicholas Hewitt

A former Global Leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Strategy Group and Partner in the Transaction Services business, Nick has 30 years of international experience building consulting teams and leading strategy consulting projects for government, corporates and financial investors across the world. He founded the strategy consulting firm The COBA Group, which was acquired by PwC in 2001, after beginning his career at Bain & Company. Nick led multi-sector teams specialising in strategy, commercial due diligence and corporate restructuring in complex international financial transactions. Between 2014 and 2015, he led the origination, fund-raising and flotation on the London Stock Exchange of AA plc, where he served as Executive Director.


Managing Director

Philip Jones CB CBE

Serving for 36 years in the British Army, Phil departed the service as a Lieutenant General. With over 15 international deployments, including three secondments to the UN and two to NATO in leadership roles, he gained operational experience in most of the major military campaigns of the past 30 years. Positions included Brigade Commander in Northern Ireland, Military Attaché in Washington D.C., the first Chief of Staff to the new UK Joint Forces Command within the Ministry of Defence, Military Advisor to the UN in Afghanistan, and Chief of Staff for NATO’s Allied Command for Transformation, NATO’s strategic military command. Phil has extensive experience in planning and managing comprehensive civil-military campaigns, counter-insurgency, governance, stabilisation and peace-building. 


Networks Director

Andrew Brear

Serving in operational, liaison and leadership roles, Andy has over 20 years of experience as a British diplomat specialising in intelligence and security. He was deployed to Pakistan and Afghanistan several times between 1999 and 2011 and held diplomatic posts in Northern and Southern Europe, Latin America, and South Asia. In the late 1990s, Andy was seconded to the Ministry of Defence in a counter-terrorism operational role and later to GCHQ as an operational adviser. He also served as a Deployable Civilian Expert of the British Government’s Stabilisation Unit. An expert in cross-cultural communication, intelligence capability building, and the application of security technologies, Andy has delivered security advisory services to governments in Europe, the Middle East, East Africa and the Gulf.


Business Development Director

James Stuart

For over 30 years, James served as a British Army Officer in various theatres of conflict, including the Falkland Islands, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Following training with the US Army, he developed expertise in Threat Network Disruption and ran teams with the US Military and in the UK. Most recently, he ran the UK’s Cross-Governmental Counter-Threat Network team, designing and transforming the team into a Full-Spectrum Effects Unit utilising all arms of Government. James specialises in upstream disrupt activities, including the disruption of financial assets and threat networks that utilise explosives. He developed a strategy for the private sector to mitigate the loss of natural resources to networks which use them to fund crime and terrorism in several countries.


Innovation Director

Tarquin Folliss OBE

Tarquin spent 32 years in government service, five in the military and 27 as a diplomat, specialising in security and intelligence policy and counter-terrorism. An expert on managing complex operations in challenging environments, he worked in Europe and the Middle East, and most recently in the Asia Pacific region, where he ran the regional network and was responsible for coordinating security policy and developing relations with regional governments. In the past four years, he has worked in the private sector focusing on cyber and digital resilience and delivering capability training to governments. Tarquin gives talks on the human dimension of the cyber threat and on introducing complex technical operations into hostile environments.  


Chief of Staff

Robin Laird

Robin served for 25 years as a Senior Police Officer with the British police, specialising in the inspection of police forces. Most recently, he monitored policing standards in all 43 forces in England and Wales for HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, ensuring operational delivery matched strategic direction set by senior commanders and Home Office policy. His national crime-recording inspection has driven up standards in police recorded crime figures and improved service delivered to crime victims, particularly rape and child sexual exploitation. Robin has brought his experience of service improvement in the British police to developing crime investigation standards in the UAE, and directed an operational activity protocol for a wildlife conservation project in Kenya.

The Associates


A discreet international web of associates, the Othrys network includes experts on defence, security, diplomacy, intelligence, strategy, risk analysis, management consulting, training and the military. We can currently call on Arabic, Chinese, Russian, French, German, Spanish, Danish, Kurdish, Mongolian, Romanian, Swedish, Turkish and Hebrew speakers. Associates in the network are former ambassadors, intelligence and security officers, military attachés, risk analysts, senior police officers, HM inspectors of constabulary, special forces personnel, and subject-matter experts on investigations, strategic communications and information, cyber security, crisis media communications, counter-terrorism, counter-extremism, and various other security-related fields.