Ex-Cambridge Analytica boss banned from being a company director

The former boss of Cambridge Analytica has been banned from being a company director for seven years.

Alexander Nix had been a director of a number of firms, including SCL Elections Ltd, which provided data analytics, marketing and communication services to political and commercial customers.

The company was more commonly known as Cambridge Analytica from 2016 after a rebrand.

Announcing the ban on Thursday the Insolvency Service said it had concluded that SCL Elections had “repeatedly offered shady political services to potential clients over a number of years”.

Cambridge Analytica folded as a company in 2018, shortly after being suspended by Facebook amid allegations it amassed data on millions of voters from their profiles and misused it.

Among the allegations were claims the information was used to target voters during Donald Trump’s 2016 US presidential election campaign, while a whistleblower claimed the firm had links to pro-Brexit campaigners.

Mr Nix signed a disqualification undertaking, within which he did not dispute causing or permitting SCL Elections or associated companies to market themselves as “offering potentially unethical services to prospective clients therefore demonstrating a lack of commercial probity”, the Insolvency Service said.

Brexit
Brexit

The 45-year-old, of Holland Park in west London, was also a director of other connected UK companies, namely SCL Group Ltd, SCL Social Ltd, SCL Analytics Ltd and SCL Commercial Ltd.

The Insolvency Service said the unethical services offered by the companies included “bribery or honey trap stings, voter disengagement campaigns, obtaining information to discredit political opponents and spreading information anonymously in political campaigns”.

Appearing before a parliamentary committee in 2018 he claimed his company had been “victimised” by a liberal backlash against Brexit and the election of Mr Trump.

Mark Bruce, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “Following an extensive investigation, our conclusions were clear that SCL Elections had repeatedly offered shady political services to potential clients over a number of years.

“Company directors should act with commercial probity and this means acting honestly and correctly.

“Alexander Nix’s actions did not meet the appropriate standard for a company director and his disqualification from managing limited companies for a significant amount of time is justified in the public interest.”

The ban will take effect from October 5, disqualifying Mr Nix for seven years from acting as a director or becoming involved, without permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.