The Intelligent Risks (IR) leadership team have extensive experience and subject matter expertise across the spectrum of security planning, risk assessment, operational management, due diligence enquiries and crisis resolution. IR personnel have served at senior levels in government agencies spanning intelligence, law enforcement and the military, and at executive levels in the private sector.

Neil Fergus

Chief Executive

Neil founded IR in 2001 following a 20 year career in the Australian Government; including as a senior diplomat, as Manager Middle East and as the Principal Operations Adviser. He has since led IR’s growth into becoming a pre-eminent international management services firm. He is an internationally recognised speaker and author on risk management, security, KRE and terrorism; and is a co-author of Security Risk Management (HB167 – 2006). He is an adviser to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) since 2004 and has been engaged in planning and delivery for eight Olympic Games including several reviews for the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Neil has conducted numerous complex reviews for governments, such as the ‘Layers of Aviation Security Review’ for the Australian Government and several projects for the US State Department’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program.

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Eliza Thorn

Manager, Queensland and Pacific

Eliza manages IR’s projects in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Pacific regions. She has extensive skills and experience in delivering complex international security, risk, transport and due diligence projects. Eliza had several years’ experience in security, international policy, liaison and analysis roles with the Australian Department of Defence (including extended deployments to East Timor and Iraq) and the Office of Transport Security (OTS). She was a senior diplomat in the Australian Embassy in Thailand before joining IR in 2013 as Manager of our practice in Bangkok. In 2015 Eliza transferred to Australia to manage the Corporate Integrity Program, delivering numerous due diligence projects for our clients including particularly complex cases in China, Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam. In late 2018 Eliza was appointed Manager of our practice in Brisbane.

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Andrew McWhinney

Manager, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory

Andrew previously served in the Australian Government in lead security and intelligence roles, including in counter-terrorism investigations. Since joining IR in 2010, Andrew has managed numerous complex projects for IR’s clients across the risk and security spectrum including strategic planning and reviews, complex risk assessments and has provided advisory services to mega and major events as well as major construction projects.

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Tony Harman

Manager, Asia

Tony is responsible for managing IR’s operations in the Asian region from the IR practice located in
Bangkok. Tony has extensive experience in crisis management, risk management, security
assessments and due diligence investigations. Prior to joining IR, Tony worked for the Australian
government for over 30 years; firstly, as a military officer, including in Iraq, and then as a diplomat. Tony had operational deployments in Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East and the USA, including a
three year diplomatic posting in Thailand. He speaks fluent Thai.

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Marc Armitage

Manager, New Zealand

Prior to joining IR, Marc worked for the Australian and New Zealand Governments for 10 years, including in analytical, security operations and management roles. Marc has extensive experience in risk management, intelligence operations, security assessment and planning and blended law enforcement / intelligence operations. Marc was recently responsible for leading a diverse national team delivering significant counter-terrorism outcomes.  He was awarded a Director’s Level award from the Director of Security (NZ) for this period, as well as a certificate of recognition from the National Security Investigation Team (NSIT) of New Zealand Police.  Marc has a BA and Law degree from the University of Tasmania and an MBA from the University of Sydney Business School.

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Strategic Planning IR
Risk Assessments and Reviews IR
Crisis Management Planning IR
Business Resilience IR
Security Operations IR
Investigations IR
Due Diligence IR


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