HFI provides bridge between North Sea and Middle East for MSIS

HFI provides bridge between North Sea and Middle East for MSIS


When MSIS wanted to grow its share of the global oil and gas environmental services market, it was essential that the firm worked with a partner who was not only familiar with legal challenges of international expansion, but local issues associated with their target markets.

So, when the time came to expand operations into the Middle East, MSIS turned to a trusted partner to act as a guide through the contractual and cultural maze. MSIS chief executive Chris Lloyd appointed HFI Consulting, having a long track record of working alongside managing partner Hugh Fraser.

MSIS, which is based in Inverurie in Aberdeenshire, had grown a significant client base across the UK for its wide range of environmental solutions, including drill rig cleaning, waste management and tank cleaning.

However, as with many firms with activities focused on the North Sea, the downturn in production led to MSIS broadening its horizons in the global marketplace. It successfully grew its client base in Brazil, west Africa and the Middle East – a region known for its challenges and barriers to entry.

Chris explained: “I’d worked with Hugh over many years so when we needed assistance with expansion in the Middle East, he was a natural choice because he offers a relatively unique combination.

“He is from Aberdeen so understands Scottish companies and Scottish people, yet he also understands how to approach local cultures and expectations in the Middle East and North Africa. He sits in the middle and is able to understand both sides.”

Chris knew that HFI’s network of contacts and relationships in countries including Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Egypt would result in MSIS being able to identify a suitable local partner to work with.

Having almost two decades of direct experience helping North Sea firms internationalise in the Middle East, HFI is all too aware of the costly mistakes that can occur when appointing the wrong agent.

Hugh understands that getting the right deal with the right partner is one of the keys to success: their contribution to market verification and connectivity, legal compliance, localisation and logistics support can be crucial.

Chris said: “We knew that Hugh would be able to provide excellent legal support with commercial diligence, but beyond that we knew that we would be able to talk to him about the suitability of local agents, their track record and who would be the best fit for us.

“Hugh has always stressed the importance of finding the right local partner to work with. He was able to guide us through that process and we relied on him to ensure that it was as smooth as possible.

“Although we have had a long-standing relationship with Hugh directly, he has an excellent team around him. The back up support that he was able to call in was very professional.”