on assignment, Yangon

on assignment, Yangon

Who we are

We are a team of experienced researchers and analysts.

Our co-founders have worked in the industry since the 1980s. Each senior member of the team is a practitioner, deeply involved in casework. Our staff are drawn from a variety of sectors: they have backgrounds in law, economics, diplomacy, headhunting, journalism and finance. Each brings their own experience and their own network of sources to the firm. They speak Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Polish, German, Italian, Romanian and Greek. Uniting them is a common set of skills – attention to detail, the ability to master a brief, and an explicit focus on what information is most relevant to our clients.

Our senior team

Amy Lashinsky


Amy Lashinsky trained on Wall Street as a securities analyst. She joined Kroll in New York in 1988, moving to London to help establish its first overseas office, where she became Managing Director of its business intelligence unit. In 1995 she set up her own business intelligence firm with Ambrose Carey, which they sold in 1998 to NYSE-listed Armor Holdings, remaining there until founding Alaco in 2002. Amy graduated from the University of Michigan.

Ambrose Carey


Ambrose Carey co-founded Alaco.  His clients include banks, corporations, law firms and private investors, with whom he works on a full range of issues, from due diligence to fraud investigations.  Over the course of a 25-year career in business intelligence, he has been involved in some of the most high profile asset tracing cases of the past few decades.  He has particular experience in the Middle East, travelling frequently to the Gulf and Saudi Arabia.  He also works closely with a number of private banks in Switzerland.

Ambrose began his career in Saudi Arabia, before entering the business intelligence industry in 1987.  He set up his first company with Amy Lashinsky in 1995, which led to Alaco’s formation in 2002.  He has a degree from the University of East Anglia.

Adrian Stones


Adrian Stones joined Alaco in 2005.  His work typically involves an eclectic mix of intelligence-driven assignments for corporate clients and private investors.  He regularly handles assignments in sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the former Soviet Union, particularly where there is a political dimension to the work.  He travels frequently to Moscow, Washington and New Delhi. 

Before joining Alaco Adrian spent 19 years working for the British Government in a variety of security and intelligence-related functions.  His postings included Harare, New Delhi, Washington and Kiev.  He speaks Russian.  Adrian has a degree in Music from the University of Exeter.

Oliver Gorton


Oliver Gorton joined Alaco in 2006.  He works with clients across a broad range of due diligence and litigation support investigations in both developed and emerging markets.  He has extensive experience of pre-transaction due diligence, managing longstanding relationships with leading investment banks, supporting their capital markets, M&A and private banking teams.  He has led many multi-jurisdictional dispute-related assignments for in-house counsel, involving asset tracing and fraud investigations.  His broad international footprint includes regular work in Russia and the CIS, Africa, South-East Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe.  He speaks Spanish and French.

Prior to Alaco, Oliver worked for twelve years in client-facing research roles, firstly at a leading international headhunting firm and then for a specialist research consultancy.  He has a degree in Modern Languages from the University of Cambridge.

Nikos Asimakopoulos

Associate Director

Nikos Asimakopoulos Nikos joined Alaco in 2008.  He manages due diligence and dispute-related assignments for a range of clients.  His work lies primarily in Russia, Central Asia and Turkey, where he travels regularly.  He has developed specific expertise in the extractive industries of these and other markets, including sub-Saharan Africa.  Additionally he has worked closely with hedge funds monitoring the economics and politics of several developing countries.  Nikos holds a BSc and an MSc in Economics from the universities of York and Bath, respectively.  He speaks Greek and Russian.

James Carney

Associate Director

James Carney joined Alaco in 2010.  His focus lies predominantly in Russia and the CIS and Central Europe, where he has extensive experience analysing the corporate landscape of those regions.  He has worked on numerous due diligence assignments for corporate, banking and private equity clients with interests across many sectors, particularly industrials, banking and renewables.  He joined Alaco from another business intelligence firm, where he spent three years in a similar role. 

Previously, he was a CIS-focused researcher and writer at a leading peer review publication in the legal sector.  James received a first class degree in Modern Languages from the University of St Andrews and speaks fluent Russian and German.

James Birkett

Senior Associate

James Birkett has worked for Alaco since 2009, joining from a local NGO in Bangladesh.  He leads due diligence assignments and bespoke investigations in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and the Middle East, where he has developed a strong understanding of the local corporate landscapes and wider political context.  James holds a BA in History from the University of York and an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Manchester.

Renata Legierska

Senior Associate

Renata Legierska joined Alaco in 2009.  Over the past five years she has led a variety of investigations ranging from due diligence research to specialist assessments of market, political or sanctions-related risks.  She has conducted a number of in-depth research assignments relating to major infrastructure projects and Public-Private Partnership Programmes in developing markets.  Renata has travelled extensively throughout Central and Eastern Europe, the CIS region and Central Asia, developing Alaco’s expertise and research capabilities in many frontier jurisdictions. 
Renata holds an Honours BA in History from the University of Toronto and MA Journalism from City University London.  She speaks Polish and French.

Ariana Issa

Senior Associate

Ariana joined Alaco in 2011 and manages multi-jurisdictional compliance-focused assignments for a number of international financial services firms.  Over her time at Alaco she has also been heavily involved in running complex investigations and dispute-related engagements, often with a focus on China and the wider East Asian region.  She joined the business intelligence sector after a career in executive search, when she led multiple projects within the European private equity and investment banking sectors, developing particular expertise in the UK and Scandinavian markets.  She holds an MSc in Global Governance from St Cross College, Oxford and received a first class degree in Oriental Studies (Chinese) from Balliol College, Oxford.  She speaks Mandarin.

Austen Josephs

Senior Associate

Austen Josephs joined Alaco in 2012.  He manages a range of complex multi-jurisdictional investigations at Alaco including due diligence and dispute-related engagements, political risk and market entry advice, particularly in Middle Eastern and North African markets.  He joined the business intelligence sector after a career as a MENA-based broadcast journalist, having spent five years producing current affairs programmes for the Al Jazeera Network in Qatar.  He holds an MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts and a BA in Classics from the University of Oxford.  He speaks Arabic.

Heiner Weber

Director, Alaco Suisse

Heiner started his career in financial derivatives.  He co-founded and headed a pan-European options market-making firm, before going on to senior Wealth Management positions at UBS (desk head, UHNW); Lombard Odier (Managing Director); Falcon Private Bank (market head and branch manager).  He has advised clients such as Eurovegas, UBS-O'Connor, Derivatives Trading Corp (DeTraCo).

Heiner has attained CAIA, PRM and CQF qualifications, is an alumni of IMD (Lausanne) and IE Business School (Madrid) and studied robotics at the Federal Polytechnic Institute.