The company was founded in New York City by the American political scientist Ian Bremmer (PhD, Stanford University, 1994) in 1998. Since its founding, the Eurasian Group has become the world’s largest political risk consultancy firm, with over 150 full-time employees in addition to approximately five hundred freelance contracted experts from all over the world. The Eurasian Group’s intellectual capital runs the gamut of specialization, from economics to geopolitics. (Kallianotis, 2013, p. 265) Alongside the skill of its experts, a key reason for the success of the Eurasia Group is the diversity of its client base. The Eurasia group has approximately over four hundred clients, among them institutional investors, government agencies, multi-national corporations and major investment banks. (Kallianotis, 2013, p. 265)
The diverse portfolio of the Eurasia Group’s clients underscores the wide-ranging informational services that the organization offers. According to the Eurasia Group’s official website, such services include “direct access to analysts, independent research and consulting reports, political risk assessments, strategic planning and scenario analysis and quantitative risk metrics and evaluations.” (Eurasia Group, 2014) From another viewpoint, this diversity of clients underscores the value of the service product the Eurasia Group offers.
On a more mainstream level, the Eurasia Group has become known for various rankings which it releases to the public. For example, the Global Political Risk Index (GPRI) is the first index to measure political stability in emerging markets. (The Economist, 2014) The Eurasia Group also publically releases its annual top ten risks to global stability, an influential indicator of potential trouble spots for both politics and business. (Perlberg, 2014) Such publically available rankings complied by the Eurasia Group has arguably contributed to the expansion of its brand name in the market.
In order to understand the aims of the Eurasia Group it is worthwhile to quote its founder Ian Bremmer at length: “Political risk is about understanding that governments and businesses have different expectations and goals. To operate a global business successfully, you need to understand what motivates government action, particularly in places where politics matter at least as much as economics to market outcomes.” (Eurasia Group, 2014) In a nutshell, he Eurasia Group represents the intersection of economics and politics, as well as a global example of what information and consultancy services represent in the contemporary era.
Despite the clear growth of the Eurasia Group from its somewhat humble beginnings, the company still faces numerous challenges. One of the key obstacles the company faces is in terms of competition. The Eurasia Group’s competition is not only limited to other competitors in the private sector, but also government agencies. Namely, although the Eurasia Group is involved with political risk analysis, nation-states and governments already possess similar agencies in their very structure, for example, secret services, ministries of defense and intelligence bureaus. In other words, to the extent that such political information is vital to the interests of nation-states, nation-states may also feel less comfortable by consulting a private firm for such analyses. More specifically, national security issues could discourage clients such as government agencies from consulting the Eurasia Group because of the latter’s private sector status.
As with any other service company, the Eurasia Group also faces service issues. These service issues, are directly tied to the speculative nature of the Eurasia Group’s product, i.e., they are service delivery issues inherent to risk analysis service companies, and, in particular, political risk analysis service companies. This entails that the information services provided by the Eurasia Group may not always be accurate. The Eurasia Group, therefore, in order to continue to grow, must maintain the high quality of its analyses.
Service delivery issues are also an overlooked obstacle for such a company. Namely, because the product being sold to individual clients is analysis and information, it does not appear that there are any explicit delivery issues at stake. However, for The Eurasia Group, its service delivery issues can be approached from another perspective: namely, the strength of its brand name. The Eurasia Group has become known on a broader scale because of the analyses it has made to the public, such as the aforementioned GPRI. To overcome the uniqueness of its service delivery obstacles, therefore, the Eurasia Group therefore, must continue to develop networks which will allow its publically released analyses to become available to a wider market.
With regard to these service issues, therefore, The Eurasia Group, in other words, will only remain relevant not only to the extent that its speculative analyses succeed in anticipating the future, but also that the success of these analyses are made available to a broader public.
Author Unknown. (2003). “Political Risk Analysis: The New Bull Market. The Economist. The Economist, May 23. Retrieved 13 June 2014 at http://www.economist.com/node/1804681
Kallianiotis, J. N. (2013). International Finance Transactions and Exchange Rates: Trade, Investment and Parities. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
The Eurasia Group. (2014). “What we do”. The Eurasia Group. Retrieved 13 June 2014 at http://eurasiagroup.net/about-eurasia-group/what-we-do
Perlberg, S. (2014). “Eurasia Group: Here are the Greatest 10 Risks to Global Stability.” Business Insider, January 14. Retrieved 13 June 2014 at http://www.businessinsider.com/eurasia-group-10-greatest-risks-2014-1