Nick Banner is a partner in a strategic intelligence advisory firm, working with senior corporate executives and investors on a range of commercial, regulatory, and political risks arising out of international M&A, market entry, and disputes. Prior to that, Nick had a career in UK public service, joining the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in 1999, working on EU enlargement negotiations, and being promoted to lead the team dealing with Turkish and Cypriot issues. He was posted to Brussels as the press spokesman at the UK Permanent Representation to the EU, and was also part of the UK team working on negotiation of a new constitutional treaty for the EU, which eventually became the Lisbon Treaty. He was then seconded into the European Commission, as a member of the cabinet (private office) of the External Relations Commissioner, where his portfolio covered oversight of relations with Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Southern Caucuses, the Commission’s overseas aid budget, economic and financial issues, and speechwriting for the Commissioner, Lord Chris Patten.
On returning to the UK, Nick was appointed head of the FCO group dealing with the countries of the Levant and North Africa, including responsibility for the UK’s work on the Middle East peace process. He was subsequently seconded to 10 Downing Street as Private Secretary for Foreign Affairs to the Prime Minister, dealing with a wide range of foreign policy issues, including Iraq, Syria, Libya, and international counter-terrorism, working closely with EU and US counterparts. Following Tony Blair’s departure from office, he appointed Nick as his chief of staff, establishing the Middle East Quartet team and its operations in London and Jerusalem.
Nick has a BA and MA in History from Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge, and an MSc in the Theory and History of International Relations from the LSE. He started out his career at a public policy think tank, Demos, and then at BBC News, working on UK politics and elections.