on assignment, Yangon

on assignment, Yangon

Who we are

We are a team of experienced professionals, rigorously focused on the information needs of our clients.

Our co-founders have worked in the industry since the 1980s. Each 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, finance, diplomacy, headhunting, journalism and consulting. Each brings their own experience and their own network of sources to the firm. They speak Arabic, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, French, German and a host of other languages. 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

CEO and Co-Founder

Amy Lashinsky is a co-founder of Alaco and a Member of the Board.  She 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 is an Independent Non-Executive Director of FTSE 250 company Energean Oil & Gas plc. She is also a Trustee of the Rathbones Folio Prize. Amy graduated from the University of Michigan.

Ambrose Carey

Board Director and Co-Founder

Ambrose Carey co-founded Alaco and is a Member of the Board.  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

Board Director

Adrian Stones joined Alaco in 2005 and is a Member of the Board.  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

Board Director

Oliver Gorton joined Alaco in 2006 and is a Member of the Board.  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, 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

Director, Disputes

Nikos Asimakopoulos joined Alaco in 2008.  He focuses on dispute-related assignments on behalf of law firms and their clients, working internationally.  He has developed specific expertise in the extractive industries, particularly in Russia, Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.  Nikos holds a BSc and an MSc in Economics from the universities of York and Bath, respectively.  He speaks Greek and Russian.

James Birkett

Director of Research

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.

Lindsay Hufton

Director of Operations

Lindsay Hufton joined Alaco in 2013, having previously worked in management consultancy and for a leading investment bank.  She manages due diligence projects and investigations around the world predominantly for financial sector clients, whilst also overseeing Alaco's internal resourcing and operations.  Lindsay received a first class BA and an MSc in Biochemistry from St John’s College, Cambridge, and an MA in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.  She speaks Russian.

Austen Josephs

Associate Director

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.

Gordon Rainey

Associate Director

Gordon Rainey joined Alaco in 2019.  His work cuts across a variety of sectors and disciplines, with an emphasis on transactional and strategic intelligence mandates for corporate clients and both public and private investors.  He also has managed a broad range of dispute-related assignments, typically in conjunction with outside counsel.  On both transactional and contentious matters, Gordon has travelled extensively throughout the developed and emerging economies of Europe, Russia/CIS, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Gordon began his career practicing corporate law in New York and London with a leading Wall Street firm.  He holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of Law and is a licensed attorney in the State of New York.

Richard Ankerson

Associate Director

Richard joined Alaco in 2011. He has managed a range of complex corporate investigations, pre-transaction business intelligence assignments and litigation support cases, and other projects in the spaces where these intersect, often with a focus on countries in Latin America, where he has a strong understanding of investment and political issues. Prior to joining Alaco, Richard spent a year at an asset management firm in the City. He holds a MA in Religious Studies from Edinburgh University and speaks Spanish.

Daria Plakhova-Freshville

Senior Associate

Daria joined Alaco in 2017. Her particular areas of expertise are Russia and the other countries of the former Soviet Union. She works on a wide variety of cases, such as integrity and competitive due diligence, market entry, litigation support and legal disputes, fraud investigations, and international asset tracing.

Prior to Alaco, Daria worked in the business intelligence industry for over a decade. Before that, she was an investigative documentary film-maker, concentrating on Russia. She has a degree from Queen Mary University of London and is a native Russian speaker.

Nicolae Reutoi

Senior Associate

Nicolae Reutoi joined Alaco in 2014.  His portfolio of work includes a mix of pre-transactional due diligence projects, complex litigation support investigations and asset recovery assignments.  Nicolae is regularly engaged in managing projects in the broader FSU region, including Russia, Ukraine and Central Asia.  He also oversees Alaco’s work in Romania and Moldova, where he has particular expertise.  He holds an MA in International Relations from King’s College London and a BSc in Business and Russian from Trinity College Dublin.

Jonny Melliss

Senior Associate

Jonny joined Alaco in 2013.  He works on a range of due diligence assignments and complex investigations across the CIS and Europe.  Before joining Alaco, Jonny worked in recruitment and investor relations.  He holds an MA from the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies and a BA in Modern and Medieval Languages from the University of Cambridge.  He speaks French, Russian and conversational Greek.

Daniel Vassall-Adams

Client Services Director, Switzerland

Daniel joined Alaco Suisse in September 2021 as Client Services Director, responsible for the Swiss market.  Daniel serves as point of contact for Alaco’s existing and prospective clients in Switzerland, liaising with senior stakeholders in financial institutions, corporations, law firms and international organisations across all of Alaco’s services.  Prior to Alaco, Daniel was a Director of another major international risk consultancy, based in Switzerland.  He lives with his family in Zurich.

Earlier on in his career, Daniel worked in financial services and headhunting.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Bristol.  Daniel is also an Executive Committee Member of the Women’s Brain Project.