Etoile Partners is a geopolitical consultancy, specialising in strategic positioning advice and communications management. Joe Phelan, a partner of the organisation, was previously a special adviser to the Secretary General of the Commonwealth. He has advised many high-profile organisations and individuals on business and communications issues from a political, media or public policy angle. As well as his role at Etoile, he is senior adviser to the Global Advisory practice at APCO Worldwide. ‘Our consultants have worked all over the world for four decades, assisting governments, companies, organisations and individual leaders to achieve their goals’, he says. ‘In an increasingly uncertain world, clients need that advice more than ever.’ According to Phelan, the past four decades have seen the ‘creation of new markets, the changing nature of debate, and a winning over of public opinion for the benefit of our clients’. Especially now that ‘fake news’ has infiltrated the media landscape, Phelan believes that clients value clear and concise intelligence more than ever before. ‘What might previously have been taken at face value now needs to be stress-tested and verified to be used in the highest level of decision making,’ he observes. Phelan’s clients include governments (with special expertise in the Middle East) as well as trusts and foundations, family offices and corporates.