HFI Consulting International founder inducted into GlobalScot network

23 August 2017 Consultancy.uk 4 min. read
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Following plans from Hugh Fraser, a lawyer and Middle East business expert, to relaunch his business, he has been inducted into a global networking initiative set up to help Scottish firms break international markets. Originally from Aberdeen, he has joined Globalscot in the hope of helping companies with roots in North Sea oil and gas to grow their business in the region where he is now based. Fraser had spent the previous four years as a managing partner of global law firm Andrews Kurth Kenyon’s Dubai offices, and the rebranded HFI Consulting International will now look to grow ranks, having appointed Malcolm Kelly as a senior legal consultant.

Middle East business expansion expert HFI Consulting International has made a key appointment to its legal management team amid preparations for its formal relaunch. Malcolm Kelly joins the team as a senior legal consultant, having amassed over 20 years of experience with global engineers Weir Group. At the firm, Kelly was a corporate and commercial lawyer, along with latterly being a senior legal advisor, acting as the firm's chief commercial and compliance counsel. While HFI’s founder, Middle East business expert Hugh Fraser continues to work abroad, Kelly will primarily work out of HFI's Aberdeen office, supporting clients operating in the energy industry and water sector to implement expansion plans in the Middle East. In addition to bases in Aberdeen and Dubai, HFI Consulting International will have offices in Amsterdam and Saudi Arabia, and plans to expand its scope further by utilising the skills of a network of specialist consultants and in-country legal experts.

According to Kelly, the role is something he has extensive experience in, despite his legal background. "Although I am a lawyer, my role for the past 20 years has been so much more than administering legal advice. My job has been to help businesses develop strategies to promote growth and opportunity while at the same time ensuring they have appropriate systems for assessing and managing risk. The correct balance is fundamental in reassuring shareholders that their interests are being looked after,” he said following his appointment.

HFI continues its international relaunch, meanwhile, with Hugh Fraser announcing the business’ return in August 2017. Fraser has been helping companies grow in the Middle East and North Africa for the past 20 years, including a recent four year stint as managing partner of the Dubai offices of global law firm Andrews Kurth Kenyon. Over the past two decades, Fraser has developed an extensive knowledge of the region’s business and legal structures. HFI Consulting International will specialise in the planning and execution of business expansion projects for companies with advanced technology and know-how in the energy industry and water sector.

Hugh Fraser and Malcolm Kelly - HFI

Fraser, who initially launched the company, has meanwhile been inducted into a global networking initiative set up to help Scottish firms break international markets. The Aberdonian has become a member of Globalscot, and organisation aimed at assisting companies linked to North Sea oil and gas grow their business in the Middle East region, which remains one of the world’s key oil markets. The group was established by Scottish Enterprise 16 years ago, comprising of business leaders, entrepreneurs and executives with a connection to Scotland.

Fraser said of his new network membership, “It is a huge honour to be part of the Globalscot network and I am looking forward to giving Scottish companies guidance on how to grow in the Middle East and North Africa. Internationalisation can be an intense and time-consuming process – especially in a region with very different structures and cultures – so it’s essential that companies have access to the right kind of help… Although I have been based in the United Arab Emirates for well over a decade, the majority of businesses I have worked with have their origins in the North Sea. As a proud Scot, it has given me great satisfaction to see so many Scottish companies succeeding overseas but there is still much to be done in reducing the rate of failures and increasing our rates of success.”

Fraser was accredited by the Globalscot network by David Rennie, head of oil and gas at Scottish Enterprise. Rennie said of the network’s gain, “We have already worked with [Hugh Fraser] over a number of years and I know that his knowledge of key overseas markets, his willingness to help Scottish companies through advice and guidance, and his own networks and connections will play an important role in assisting Scotland to promote itself on the global stage.”

Scottish First Minister and Scottish Nationalist Party leader Nicola Sturgeon meanwhile signed a letter to Fraser, welcoming him to the network. The letter stated, “As a Globalscot you will have an opportunity to directly support the growth of our most ambitious companies and your advice and guidance will be invaluable in helping the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise shape strategies and approaches for those industries and markets that are most important to Scotland’s future.”