It was impressive to see how quickly BP responded to the escalating violence in Libya. I interviewed Richard Fenning, CEO of Control Risks, and asked him what his clients are most concerned about with the deteriorating situation

Recently I had the chance to interview Richard Fenning, chief executive of security consultancy Control Risks.

I wanted to ask him about how his clients are dealing with the violent unrest in Libya, which is still front page news across the world.

It was impressive to see, for example, that BP, one of the many oil companies with people and assets in the country, was able to evacuate its personnel quickly.

In contrast the British government came under fire for failing to seize the initiative and begin evacuating British people from Libya before it descended into civil war.

In the end BP loaned a plane to the UK Foreign Office for this very purpose.

Fenning told me that the overriding concern for multinational companies with assets in the region is the safety of their people.

With that in mind Control Risks has been working overtime with companies desperate to get their staff to safety, he said.

We also talked about the future for Libya. Fenning told me that the writing was on the wall for Colonel Gaddafi who seized power in a 1969 coup. He predicted that a military leadership would take over in the near future.

This could potentially open up opportunities for the private sector if the new government is keener than its predecessors were to work with the international community, he said.

Of course it’s just as likely that the new regime goes the other way and clams up even worse than before. It’s that uncertainty which is one of the biggest challenges for investors right now.

For the full interview with Fenning see the next issue of StrategicRISK.