The title of global political risk consultant tends to conjure a certain image, says Livia Paggi, head of political risk at GPW [pictured right]. One of briefings in smoke-filled rooms from former soldiers and intelligence officers. Cutting through that image, in what has also traditionally been seen as a men’s industry, has been a challenge since she joined the business in 2013 as a junior analyst.
In summer 2015 it got a touch harder. A restructuring of the organisation led to many of the company’s partners leaving. Neither Paggi nor her colleague Ashley Messick, GPW's head of dispute management, [pictured left] then a case manager, had ever faced anything like this before.
It left the pair facing a “make or break moment in their careers” - to join those jumping ship, or to try and rebuild their respective divisions at a firm that some in the industry press described as a “sinking ship”. They opted for the latter, laying out a business plan to regrow their respective divisions. Five years later it was a risk that looks to have paid off both as both are now equity partners.