Keith Winstanley MBE
Chief Operating Officer

Before entering the commercial sector, Keith served for 33 years in the Royal Navy operating world-wide in the South Atlantic, Pacific, Northern Europe, Mediterranean, Adriatic (both afloat and ashore with the UN), 2 periods in the Far East, 3 in the Caribbean, and 4 in the Middle East. He served in every class of warship from minesweeper to aircraft carrier and commanded 4; a minesweeper, 2 Destroyers and an Amphibious Assault Ship. He also saw active service as the Chief of Staff to the Royal Navy’s principal sea-going Flag Officer during Air Operations over Iraq and the Kosovo conflict. For 2 years he commanded all UK maritime assets in the Middle Eastern and Indian Ocean region and, concurrently, was the Deputy Commander of the multi-national Naval Coalition operating in the area. He was awarded the MBE following his command of the minesweeper HMS UPTON and the United States Legion of Merit following his command of Coalition forces in the Middle East.

His staff appointments include Liaison Officer to Commander British Forces serving ashore in the former Republic of Yugoslavia during the fighting in Bosnia, and 2 years on the staff of the Royal Navy’s Commander-in-Chief as the Fleet Operations Officer responsible for the day to day command and control of Fleet units worldwide. He is the only officer from all 3 of the UK’s Armed Forces to be a graduate of the UK’s Higher Command and Staff Course (the UK’s most senior operational Command and Staff Course) (2000) and to also have been the Deputy Director (2000-2002), and Director (2009-2011). Between 2002 and 2004 he led 3 complex studies for the Navy Board: a strategic work strand of the Navy-wide manpower review, a complete review of RN Sea Training looking out to the introduction of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, and a final study working in MoD London tasked with establishing the level of maritime platform availability offering the optimal balance between operational tempo and flexibility, personal harmony, material availability, global footprint, resilience to loss and the ability to surge for the unexpected.

In addition to the UK’s Higher Command and Staff Course, Keith is a member of the Royal College of Defence Studies, a graduate of the Defence Strategic Leadership programme and the Defence Strategic Finance Programme and has completed further personal professional development programmes in Commercial Finance and Corporate Directorship. He has completed a Masters Degree in Defence Studies with King’s College London and in 2011 he went up to St Antony’s College, Oxford University to complete a one year Research Fellowship specialising in maritime security in the Indian Ocean region. He was invited to become a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University on completion. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, an alumnus of the Manchester Business School, an Honorary Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Brewers and was awarded the freedom of the City of London in 2005. Keith travelled widely during his Naval Career (67 different countries – many more than once) and lectured extensively on strategy, planning and leadership in the USA, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Pakistan. He left the Royal Navy on a voluntary basis in December 2012 in order to take his leadership, strategic and operational planning, adaptability, comfort with risk and change, persuasive representational and presentational skills, and his ability to see strategic theory through to affordable and practical reality into the commercial sector. He was invited to become the Alazen Group Strategy Director the following month.

As Strategy Director he is responsible for strategic planning for the Group, production of the Group business plan and associated measurement matrices, and monitoring and assessing political, social, economic and technological developments and market opportunities in the regions where the Alazen Group operates or is considering operating. He is a member of the Group’s Executive Leadership Team.