About New Normal

We are a Swiss-based strategy consultancy advising Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies, investment banks and fund managers.

Our value proposition is based on our ability to view the economy through the lens of the chemical industry, which is proven to be the best leading indicator for the global economy:

  • Our approach is data-driven, and we cover areas where the team has long-term expertise such as developments in China, oil markets, geopolitics, as well as chemicals/plastics themselves and their key end-uses – autos, housing and electronics.
  • Our privileged position as advisers to investors and corporates enables us to operate in a ‘sweet spot’ where we can help investors to better understand companies’ key priorities, and help companies to understand investor needs.
  • Having successfully forecasted the 2008 subprime crash, we were able to use the analysis in our 2011 book, ‘Boom, Gloom and the New Normal’ to identify how changing demographics mean that businesses need to move from being supply-driven to being demand-led.
  • Via our analysis of the need “to do more with less”, we were also one of the first to identify the importance of the waste plastics/circular economy issue, and how sustainability is replacing globalisation as a key driver for the future.
The pH Report – The litmus test for the global economy

THE NEW NORMAL TEAM

About The pH Report – Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges

Is a trusted adviser to major companies and the investment community, and has a proven track record of accurately identifying key trends in global marketplaces. He has been widely recognised for correctly forewarning of the 2008 global financial crisis. His analysis of the key role of demographics in driving the global economy is now attracting increasing interest from senior policymakers and executives.

Paul is Chairman of International eChem (IeC), non-executive Chairman of NiTech Solutions and Ready for Brexit, and senior adviser to I.C.I.S. and Recycling Technologies. Prior to launching IeC in 1995, Paul spent 17 years with Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), both in England and the USA, where he held senior executive positions in petrochemicals and chloralkali, and was Executive Director of a $1bn ICI business. Paul serves as a Global Expert with the World Economic Forum and is a Freeman of the City of London. He is a graduate of the University of York, and studied with IMD business school.

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About The pH Report – Daniel de Blocq van Scheltinga

Daniël de Blocq van Scheltinga

Was the first foreigner to be granted permission to run the finance company of a top-tier Chinese State Owned Enterprise, when establishing and managing ChemChina Finance Company. Previously, Daniël held a variety of senior positions in corporate and investment banking, including as Asia Pacific Head of Chemicals and Asia Head Asset Based Finance for ABN AMRO.

He moved to Hong Kong in 2001, and continues to spend much of his time in China, advising both international and Chinese firms, as well as leaders in the public and private sectors. Daniël is a graduate of Leiden University, the Netherlands, with a Master of Law degree with a specialty of International law.

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David Hughes

David Hughes

Is an expert on the Middle East, having lived and worked in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for 5 years after leading SABIC’s global business redesign programme in 2009. He has held a range of senior executive positions with SABIC, Huntsman and ICI, where he led a range of global $1bn+ businesses based in the Middle East, Europe and the USA. He also served on a number of industry bodies, including as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Petrochemicals Europe, the Asian Clean Fuels Association and the Methanol Institute.

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Paul Satchell

Dr Paul W Satchell

Has worked in the chemical industry as an equity analyst with some of the world’s leading investment banks, and directly with chemical companies. For 21 years to 2017, he covered the global chemical industry for banks including ING, Merrill Lynch and Investec, making market recommendations and undertaking advisory work in M&A and lending. He was particularly well known for his development of the Chemicals Volume Proxy, a unique real-time monitor of chemicals demand. Before this, he spent 16 years in the industry itself, mainly with BP/BP Chemicals. He is Honorary Treasurer of the Royal Society of Chemistry and previously chaired its Investment Committee.

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Andy Gibbins – New Normal team

Andy Gibbins

Andy Gibbins has extensive experience in manufacturing within the chemical and process industries. He has successfully managed a wide range of projects including contract negotiations, cost/productivity optimisation studies, union agreements, organisational redesigns, waste reduction programmes, the development/implementation of performance incentive schemes, and site closure projects. In addition, he has advised ‘deal teams’ on technology, manufacturing and process issues.

Previously Andy was a Site Manager for NOVA Innovene in the UK and France. Before this, he worked in a variety of technical and manufacturing roles for Shell Chemicals from 1986-1999. Andy is a Chemical Engineer, and is a chartered member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers. He is a fluent French speaker.

Paul Henderson - New Normal team

Paul Henderson

Paul was previously Director, Strategic Accounts with Univar, and specialises in the distribution and logistics sectors. He has a proven record of achieving significant performance improvement in a wide range of businesses.

He is based in Switzerland and is fluent in French, German and Spanish – and proficient in Italian – in addition to English.

John Lawrence - New Normal team

John Lawrence

John Lawrence is widely recognized in the chemical Industry as a leader in purchasing excellence. Prior to joining IeC, John had over 30 years experience in DuPont in Europe, USA and Asia, where he held senior positions in marketing, manufacturing, Business Management and Trading. His last position in DuPont, was in the management of DuPont’s Global Purchasing Function, where he led a team responsible for an over $1.5bn raw materials portfolio.

He has extensive experience, particularly in due diligence and the on-going contractual relationships with the seller. His most recent experience has been in leading the restructuring of the purchasing function in a major privately owned chemical company in Europe and USA. John holds a PhD in polymer chemistry and studied Finance at INSEAD in France.

John Moss - New Normal team

John Moss

John Moss has many years experience in commercial/business management in the specialty chemicals and polymers industry.

His main focus is on helping companies to gain new business in Europe & Asia, and in designing/implementing effective innovation programmes.

He is retained by the UK government’s Department of International Trade to advise on foreign direct investment, outward direct investment and trade. Previously, John was CEO of a UK-based SME, and before this held senior positions with Synthomer and ICI.

He is a Chartered Chemical Engineer and is fluent in Dutch and German.

Hans Rovers - New Normal team

Hans Rovers

Hans Rovers helps companies to improve their sustainability profile in line with shareholders long term ambitions.

Hans has Board and Executive Committee experience with large multinationals and smaller enterprises. He also has extensive industry association experience and has led several cross-discipline industry initiatives.

Previously Hans was Global Director, Sustainability at LyondellBasell and a board member of Quality Circular Polymers – an innovative circular plastics business in the Netherlands – and Ethylene Pipeline Sud in Germany. He led many of the LyondellBasell businesses at some point during his career.

George Smith - New Normal team

George Smith

George Smith has over 30 years’ experience in the oil, gas and chemical industry with BP and BOC.

Since leaving BP in 2008 he has undertaken a number of consulting projects covering NGL’s, refining and chemicals advising on strategy, M&A and investment opportunities.

He is a Chartered Chemical Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers UK.

Dave Stanworth - New Normal team

Dave Stanworth

Dave is an experienced commercial manager who has worked across a number of international and UK B2B publishing market sectors.

He has extensive experience of managing digital and print publishing products with different business models, and was previously Commercial Product Director with Reed Business Information.

Bob Townsend - New Normal team

Bob Townsend

Bob Townsend specialises in the lower olefins, principally ethylene and propylene, and in polyolefin plastics.

Previously, Bob worked for Shell Chemicals, covering a range of commercial roles in basic petrochemicals and polyolefins, including as Business Manager, Lower Olefins, for Shell Chemicals Europe. He played a fundamental role in the consolidation of Shell Chemicals basic chemicals business during the severe recession of the early 90’s, and led the negotiations with Himont on monomer issues that led to the formation of Montell. He also has considerable global experience, having worked for 5 years in the Middle East, and for 3 years in Asia.