Bernard Siman

Senior Associate Fellow

Hybrid Warfare, Mediterranean Geopolitics, Strategic Foresight, Financial diplomacy and Services


Bernard Siman, O.B.E. is Head of Financial Diplomacy & FinTech at the Brussels Diplomatic Academy of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). He teaches graduates “The International Monetary Policy & Financial Architecture” at the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences at the VUB. He serves on the Advisory Council of the London Institute of Banking and Finance, the oldest banking institute in the world. He also teaches at the Belgian Royal Military Academy. He was one of the authors of one of the first applied research reports on Hybrid Warfare in the Middle East, published by LSEideas, the foreign policy and security think tank of his alma mater, the London School of Economics and Political Science (2017). In addition to financial services, he specialises in Hybrid Warfare and Mediterranean geopolitics, and is an Adviser with Berlin Global Advisors focusing on strategic foresight, risk assessment, hybrid threats and global geopolitics, advising both governments and corporates. He has written extensively on these topics. He is a Member of both Chatham House and the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

His background spans both the private sector, academia as well as public service. He was the UK Special Representative to the UAE for Financial and Professional Services, and Co-Chair of the bilateral “Financial and Professional services Working Group” and the “Shipping and Maritime Task Force”, advising both governments on market access as well as on opportunities. He has worked in financial services in London, Tokyo, Turkey, the Mediterranean region, and the Gulf (where he lived for 13 years). He was a Visiting Fellow at the Cass Business School, City University of London.

He obtained, inter alia, an MPhil in Government from the LSE and a Graduate Diploma in Civil Engineering from Kyoto University, Japan where he lived and worked for 10 years. He was honoured by HM The Queen as an Officer in the Order of the British Empire, and by HM King Filip of the Belgians as a Knight in the Order of Leopold.

In addition to English and Dutch, he speaks Japanese, Arabic, and some German. He has a lifelong interest in military history!