UQ People

Upper Quartile's partners are all experienced business professionals with backgrounds at senior level in both the public and private sectors at home and abroad.

Gavin Jones


Gavin Jones

Gavin is one of the founding partners of Upper Quartile, quadrupling sales since start-up of a business that now generates over 90% of its income from international work in conflict and fragile states with approximately 40% coming from working directly with private multi-nationals investing in fragile states. 

Gavin worked in the international oil and gas industry before joining Scottish Enterprise to run their Oil and Gas / Energy Division and subsequently the Investment Division where he managed a unit of 40 staff and offices in Brussels, Chicago, Dubai, Singapore, Tokyo and Frankfurt, building and developing the export and trading capabilities of high-value SME’s in emerging markets.   In 1991 he moved to Japan to study Japanese business policy following which he joined Waterford Wedgwood as their Marketing Director.  Gavin returned to Europe in 1996 and spent the next 15 years working in over 50 fragile and transitional countries as far-afield as North Korea and Papua New Guinea on economic trade policy and private sector development.   This work took Gavin into the Balkans where he developed the specialist skills required to work with the private sector in conflict / fragile states; since then Gavin has worked in over 6 conflict zones - the most recent being Iraq and Afghanistan.

Currently Gavin is working directly with the Minister of Agriculture in Kabul restructuring the national priorities in advance of the anticipated 2014 drawdown and was recently invited to sit on the Board of the Afghan Business Innovation Fund – the first conflict Challenge Fund; he also is managing work for 4 private clients in Iraq, a two year technical assistance project in Rwanda, a M4P training programme in Bosnia, a $63 million CN programme and has just completed a recent evaluation in South Sudan.  

Gavin Project Directs the fragile and conflict work that Upper Quartile have worldwide, sits on the Boards of both the Iraq and Libya Business News publications and is responsible for the CSR portfolio run by Upper Quartile.   He has worked across the private and public sector in conflict-affected countries and closely with the military and Foreign Office, developing an acute understanding of the relationships and tensions between the requirement to develop a private sector and stabilise a region.  Gavin understands the dynamics of disruptions caused through narcotics, insurgency and criminality and the options to address these through CN and COIN initiatives and has direct experience of working within both the civilian and military communities.       

Specialising in building leadership competency in regional trade, and the institutions required to support stabilisation and building of domestic and regional investment, Gavin understands fully the linkages required to stabilise livelihoods, build wealth and support job creation setting the base for business clusters and broader supply chain integration in conflict affected countries.

Gavin is a deployable expert with the UK Stabilisation Unit, has SC security clearance and current HEAT training.   He was awarded the Iraq Reconstruction Medal (2009), the Afghanistan NATO medal (2010) and the Civilian Service Medal (Afghanistan) in 2011. 

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