Corporate Diplomacy in the Arabian Gulf

Strategic Advice. Government Affairs.

Our legacy in the Arabian Gulf spans 165 years. The Quincy Group can turn your challenges into opportunities.

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Capabilities


Strategic Advice

We have over 5 decades of experience in a region where trust is the critical currency. Quincy's strong resources in business, government, policy, finance, and diplomacy are all blended to achieve optimal results for our clients.

These are challenging markets. We help you to formulate and then execute effective strategies. We gather intelligence and analyze networks of strategic relationships and regulatory challenges. We work with you to formulate plans that will translate your brand equity into these markets. The result? Innovative, dynamic campaigns that deliver results.

Government Relations

In a region where government decision-making is largely opaque, you need an experienced, well-connected, and ethical guide. Quincy will act as your political navigator, working relentlessly to help you build networks of key relationships and allies.

Our decades of experience have earned us the confidence and trust of leaders across this society, resulting an immeasurable advantage for our clients.  Our time-tested corporate diplomacy advances both your agenda and your desired outcomes.

Risk Management

Complex and opaque markets require true on-the-ground knowledge and experience to mitigate risk. Our Riyadh team can help you navigate the changing political and business landscape so you can manage policy and opportunity risks.

Our decades of experience in this environment have given us an over-the-horizon feel for risks of all kinds – including FCPA and UKBA, due diligence of potential partners, and complex resolution disputes.

Helping clients to protect their brands, manage counter-party risk and maintain robust customer relationships also requires a full-time presence on the ground. Our fully-staffed team in Riyadh is completely focused on your company and your issues.

New Business Development

One of our specialties is generating new sales in the region. We help our clients understand where to play and how to win in these challenging markets.

We have the critical ability to validate customer requirements and budget priorities.  We help you to cut through misinformation, rumor and misperceptions, while facilitating direct conversations with the actual decision makers.

Shared Value Creation

We believe it is critical to be a partner, not a vendor in this region.

Quincy will help you forge bonds that align with the national strategies of societal goals, such as Vision 2030. Whether that collaboration is shared objectives and goals or public-private partnerships, your business will grow in new ways. We know from our decades of experience that these bonds result in the most successful long-term bottom line benefits.

Offset Service Provider

Quincy is a registered Offset Service Provider to US defense companies. We offer superior knowledge and insight into the complex offset obligation process in the Kingdom.Quincy assists its clients in identifying and designing original projects to fulfill obligations, advises in contract negotiations, and supports in executing offset programs.

Industries


Aerospace & Defense

Capital Projects & Infrastructure

Consumer Goods

Cybersecurity

Education

Electrical Power

Energy

Financial Services

Healthcare

Mining & Metals

Petrochemicals

Telecommunications

Transportation & Logistics

Team


Ken Close

Mr. Close is the CEO of The Quincy Group and a specialist in U.S.-Saudi business and foreign relations. Ken brings over three decades of investment banking, private equity, international business development and government relations experience in the MENA region to the firm.

Mr. Close comes from a long line of educators, missionaries, diplomats, soldiers, and businessmen who have served in the Arab Middle East since the mid-nineteenth century. He is the fourth generation of his family born in Lebanon and the fifth generation to have lived, studied, and worked in the Middle East. He enjoys broad and deep relationships there in part as a result of his family’s unique history in the region.

Mr. Close graduated from Duke University with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies and Public Policy.

Willem van Rossem

Willem van Rossem is the President of the Quincy Group in Saudi Arabia, having joined the firm in 2014 after a 23-year career in the diplomatic service of the Netherlands. Prior to joining Quincy, Mr. van Rossem was the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) for the Netherlands Embassy in Riyadh, the Head of Trade and Economy in Turkey, and the DCM in Sarajevo. Mr. van Rossem also served as the Private Secretary to HM Queen Beatrix and HRH Prince Claus of the Netherlands and as the Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels. Mr. van Rossem’s expertise in Saudi Arabia include private sector growth and engagement, joint venture partnerships between European and Saudi businesses, and government relations between the Kingdom and European partners.

Mr. van Rossem holds a Master’s degree from Utrecht University (History and International Relations) and a Diploma in Islamic Studies (University of Sarajevo). He resides in Riyadh.

Jonathan Cross

Mr. Cross is a Managing Director at The Quincy Group. Prior to joining Quincy in 2011, he worked at a multi-national financial services firm in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he focused on Islamic financial transactions.

Mr. Cross was a recipient of a Qatari government fellowship to study Arabic in Doha, Qatar. Prior to that, he conducted research in Ethiopia on politics in the Horn of Africa. He graduated from Duke University as an Angier B. Duke Scholar with a BA in Arabic and Religion and a Certificate in Islamic Studies. Mr. Cross speaks Arabic and German and is a Founding Member of the Middle East & North Africa Consultants Association (MENACA).

Wade Hansen

Mr. Hansen is the Managing Director for the Quincy Group in Saudi Arabia. He is a veteran of the US Air Force, where he focused on the Middle East, working to build multi-lateral defense partnerships, facilitate training, and secure digital networks.

As a lieutenant, his primary focus was on establishing appropriate information sharing channels to facilitate air and missile defense coordination between the US and allies in the Gulf. He also spent time in Iraq supporting special forces and providing training to Iraqi units on digital forensics. As a captain, he led teams of cybersecurity analysts from the Department of Defense in efforts to secure global networks.

Mr. Hansen earned a BA in Middle East Studies from Brigham Young University and an MA in Security Studies from American Military University. He speaks Arabic and German, and he resides in Riyadh with his wife and twin children.

Ambassador Frances Cook

Ambassador Cook has been a Senior Advisor of The Quincy Group since 2010 and is the founder of The Ballard Group LLC, an international business consulting firm. She served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman, to Burundi, and to Cameroon over a 32-year diplomacy career. Ambassador Cook is the Chairman of the Board of Lonrho PLC and serves on the corporate board of Arlington Associates PLC, and Corporate Council on Africa. She is the Washington DC Chair for the Women Corporate Directors and Co-Chair of the Middle East and Africa chapters.

She is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Naval Analyses, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Ambassador Cook was educated at the University of Virginia and Harvard University. She speaks French, Arabic, and Swahili.

Ydir Vissers

Ydir Vissers is a Senior Advisor with The Quincy Group after fifteen years with the Monitor Group. At Monitor, he focused on a wide range of issues including national competitiveness, and improvement to the regulatory conditions in which private sector companies operate across multiple geographies.

Ydir was also an officer with the Dutch Military Intelligence focused on political and military risk analysis. He has a post graduate degree in International Relations from Clingendael Instituut and an MA in both Industrial Engineering and Physics from the Eidnhoven University of Technology.

Les Janka

Les Janka is a Senior Advisor to The Quincy Group after five years as president of The Quincy Group in Riyadh. He has had a long and distinguished career in public service and in the private sector. He joined Quincy after serving from 2007-2010 as President of Raytheon Arabian Systems Company and Vice President, Network Centric Systems Operations, based in Riyadh.

In the government sector, Mr. Janka has served in the White House under three Presidents. He was a Special Assistant to Dr. Henry Kissinger and also served as a Senior Staff Member on the National Security Council under Presidents Ford and Nixon. He later returned to the White House as Special Assistant to President Reagan and Deputy Press Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

Elizabeth Close

Elizabeth Close is a Managing Director of The Quincy Group. She has spent 25 years in business development and institutional sales. She began her career in international business on the Japan desk at Merrill Lynch, advising pension funds, banks, and insurance companies on investments in U.S. capital markets. She later went on to start an Asia Pacific desk for L.F. Rothschild.

Ms. Close then managed business development for AmeriCares, an international humanitarian organization. While at AmeriCares, she also directed programs in Bosnia, Haiti, Rwanda, and former Soviet states. Ms. Close was also a segment producer for a business show about technology at CNN. Most recently, Ms. Close was in business development at Ambassador Media. She holds a dual BA in International Relations and Political Science from Brown University.

History


The beginning of US-Saudi Relations

Following the Yalta Conference in 1945, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt boarded the U.S.S. Quincy and steamed south towards the Suez Canal for a secret meeting.

The Quincy, a veteran of the D-Day battle at Utah Beach, was a Baltimore class battleship that had been retrofitted for a Presidential cruise. Upon arrival at Egypt’s Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal, Roosevelt mat secretly for several days with King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, the country’s founding king.

The meeting was orchestrated by Colonel Bill Eddy, who is described by historian Thomas Lippman as, “the nearest thing the United States has to Lawrence of Arabia”. Colonel Eddy was a highly decorated Marine WWI combat veteran who received two Purple Hearts, two Silver Stars, the Navy Cross, and the Distinguished Service Cross.

Eddy was also the great-uncle of our founder, Ken Close. Their family had come to Beirut in 1850, staying continuously in the region for 165 years as educators, doctors, and diplomats.

During WWII, Eddy was the OSS chief in North Africa and organized the Arab tribes for Operation Torch, among other missions. A fluent Arabic speaker, he later lived in Jidda and was a personal friend of King Abdulaziz. At the King’s request, Eddy served as the interpreter for both leaders during the days aboard the Quincy and the two heads of state developed an instant rapport with each other.

Although President Roosevelt died only weeks after this historic meeting, it proved to be an auspicious beginning to seven decades of unique friendship and support between our two countries.

The beginning of US-Saudi Relations

Following the Yalta Conference in 1945, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt boarded the U.S.S. Quincy and steamed south towards the Suez Canal for a secret meeting.

The Quincy, a veteran of the D-Day battle at Utah Beach, was a Baltimore class battleship that had been retrofitted for a Presidential cruise. Upon arrival at Egypt’s Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal, Roosevelt met secretly for several days with King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, the country’s founding king.

The meeting was orchestrated by Colonel Bill Eddy, who is described by historian Thomas Lippman as, “the nearest thing the United States has to Lawrence of Arabia”. Colonel Eddy was a highly decorated Marine WWI combat veteran who received two Purple Hearts, two Silver Stars, the Navy Cross, and the Distinguished Service Cross.

Eddy was also the great-uncle of our founder, Ken Close. Their family had come to Beirut in 1850, staying continuously in the region for 165 years as educators, doctors, and diplomats.

During WWII, Eddy was the OSS chief in North Africa and organized the Arab tribes for Operation Torch, among other missions. A fluent Arabic speaker, he later lived in Jidda and was a personal friend of King Abdulaziz. At the King’s request, Eddy served as the interpreter for both leaders during the days aboard the Quincy and the two heads of state developed an instant rapport with each other.

Although President Roosevelt died only weeks after this historic meeting, it proved to be an auspicious beginning to seven decades of unique friendship and support between our two countries.

Contact


We'd love to hear from you. Send us an email, call us, or fill out the form below. Info@quincygroup.com.

Contact Information


Washington DC

+1.703.994.8838
1701 Pennsylvania Ave
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006


Riyadh

+966.56.961.1258
Business Gate
Level 1, Bldg 7, Zone A
Airport Rd, Riyadh
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia