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The importance of geopolitics in the boardroom

Geopolcast: Season 1 – Episode 1

September 11, 2023

An informative podcast series that explores geopolitics and its impact.
Credit and Political Risk|Geopolitical risk - Understand
Geopolitical Risk

The past couple of months have seen the Russian operations of two well-known global businesses seized by the Russian government, even though both companies were already trying to exit Russia. Such cases in Russia dramatically highlight the challenges corporate boards are facing.

With regards to operations in China, a new survey of German companies operating in China found that 55% plan new investments there, that's down from 72% three years ago. 58% blame poor market conditions, 44% blame geopolitical tensions and 28% blame China's economic policies targeting self-reliance, for example Made in China 2025.[1] WTW's 2023 Political Risk survey showed that Russia and China now top the league of countries where companies suffer the most political risk losses.

In this episode of Geopolcast, Elisabeth Braw, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, explores the importance of geopolitics in the boardroom with Lord Jonathan Evans, Director-General of MI5 until 2013, and Stuart Ashworth, who leads WTW's political risk business from the headquarters in London.


  1. German Chamber Post-COVID Flash Survey: Business Outlook Restrained by Market Development and Geopolitics,” June 2023.

It's important not to assume any one future outcome. You've got to have a spectrum of possible outcomes and maintain as much flexibility as you can.”

Lord Jonathan Evans

Episode 1: The importance of geopolitics in the boardroom


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Elisabeth Braw
Resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

Elisabeth is a Geopolitics expert who has been consulting with the WTW Research Network since 2019, specifically exploring grayzone aggression and looking at its implications for risk managers. This work forms part of a wider research programme on geopolitical risk, including the importance of China and security impacts of climate change.

Elisabeth is a resident fellow at AEI, where she focuses on defense against emerging national security challenges, such as hybrid and grayzone threats. Concurrently, she is a columnist with Foreign Policy, where she writes on national security and the globalized economy, and is a member of the National Preparedness Commission (UK).

Head of Credit and Political Risks for Corporates, and Head of Broking and Market Engagement, Financial Solutions

Stuart Ashworth is Head of Credit and Political Risk Insurance for Corporates and Head of Broking and Market Engagement for WTW's Financial Solutions team. Prior to this he spent nine years in Singapore, looking after WTW business covering Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia.

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Lord Jonathan Evans

Lord Jonathan Evans was Director-General of MI5 until 2013. Prior to that, he had a long career in MI5 counterespionage and counterterrorism. Lord Evans has since served on numerous corporate boards, is a member of the House of Lords, and chairs The Committee on Standards in Public Life.

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