After having served as the high profile chairman and chief executive of BAE Systems from 1998 to 2004, Richard Evans has been putting his talents to use in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan. President Nursultan Nazarbayev recruited him in October 2006 to run the country's sovereign fund, Samruk Kazyna. Then, in 2008, he became an independent director of Samruk Kazyna, which was formed through the merger of Samruk and sustainable development fund Kazyna.


By establishing himself in Kazakhstan, Dick Evans scored a double coup. He became an agent for Western companies looking to set up in the country, particularly those in his own speciality sector of defence, and was able to provide them with an industrial partner in the form of Samruk. With Dick Evans as adviser, EADS and Finmeccanica were both able to set up joint ventures with the Kazakh sovereign fund in 2009.

But, at the same time, Dick Evans also became an agent for the promotion of Kazakhstan outside the country, particularly in the United Kingdom and the Gulf states. In this role, he was able to call on his friends in New Labour. In this way, Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell, Jonathan Powell and Peter Mandelson were all able to strike deals for lobbying and consultancy contracts with the Kazakh government after 2007.