James van Oosterom

How do I attack
the market?

James is a strategy consultant. His research activity is focused mainly on new venture development work at senior management level in a number of sectors where he has longstanding experience: media, telecoms, technology, internet and financial information services. He also specialises in supporting new ventures, products and services, such as those where Whetstone sometimes may take equity in lieu or partly in lieu of fees.

Following an MA in Law from Cambridge University, James qualified as a Barrister (Gray’s Inn) in 1981. After initial professional training in the legal profession, he developed a managerial career in the B2B publishing, electronic publishing, information services and interactive media spheres, work for large organisations, includes the London Stock Exchange and BT plc, where he developed and ran a portfolio of retail online financial information services including the UK’s first homebanking service, several business information businesses and the UK’s first email service.

Following an MBA at Cranfield University, James became Marketing Director of ShareLink, the UK’s first call-centre based business operating the UK’s pioneering execution-only share dealing service in the retail financial services sector.

Since 1991, he has been a specialist researcher and advisor in the sphere of emergent information and interactive services and products. He has held senior positions and directorships in several niche consulting businesses, including Informed Sources International (a specialist briefings business advising TMT businesses internationally at Board level on the impact of digital convergence in the mid-1990s) and Hydra Associates (part of the SRU Group and a specialist UK media boutique, serving CEO-level clients in the UK media and related sector, where he was Director of New Media).

Following a couple of years as Acting European Business Development Director of Ask Jeeves, the world’s third largest search engine provider, he has been a member of faculty at Ashridge Business School. He currently works extensively in the Middle East notably for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, a $32bn oil producer) and in Continental Europe.