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Sir Jeremy Fleming, the recently departed head of British cyber intelligence spy agency GCHQ, has been hired to chair the advisory board of a UK venture group with close ties to the British security services.
Fleming, who left his GCHQ role in May this year, is the latest big hire to the board of venture business Gallos Technologies, which also includes former UK government security officials Sir Anthony Finkelstein and Tom Hurd among its advisers.
Fleming’s appointment is another example of the revolving door that exists between UK government workers and the private sector.
The Financial Times reported last week that former deputy prime minister Dominic Raab was working with a headhunter who specialised in private equity and venture capital firms to find a role after he stepped down as an MP.
Stephen Lovegrove, former national security adviser at the Cabinet Office, has recently taken up a position at investment bank Lazard, while Alex Younger, the former head of MI6, has joined Goldman Sachs as an adviser.
Fleming’s role at Gallos was approved by a UK government watchdog that scrutinises new jobs former public sector workers take up.
Founded by UK armed forces veteran Dean Jones and Josh Burch, a former chief of staff to a senior national security official, Gallos invests in and builds security technology companies.
An important part of the company’s model includes tapping up its network of high-powered advisers to source original investment opportunities.
“We enjoy privileged access to exclusive deal flow and highly expert human capital thanks to our deep connectivity within the security establishment networks in the UK and US especially,” Gallos said in a marketing brochure.
Since inception, the group has made a small number of investments in businesses including Belfast cyber security group Angoka and US-based Second Front Systems, which provides software to US government employees. Gallos is also building companies including StirlingX, which provides “drones as a service”.
The appointment of Fleming, one of the UK’s most experienced intelligence professionals, is a coup for the fledgling investment group. Fleming has a three-decade career, which began when he joined MI5 in 1993.
During his time working for the UK government, he played a role in handling the terrorist attacks in London in 2005 and led MI5’s security efforts ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games. After four years as deputy director-general of MI5 between 2013 and 2017, Fleming was appointed director of GCHQ in April 2017.
At GCHQ he helped develop the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, which brings together companies and the government to help tackle threats. Among his other responsibilities were helping the UK provide support to Ukraine after Russia invaded in 2022.
Fleming was knighted in 2021 for his work leading GCHQ.