7-year disqualification for Cambridge Analytica boss

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Alexander James Ashburner Nix (45), from Holland Park, West London, has signed a disqualification undertaking, accepted by the Secretary of State on 14 September 2020.

Within the undertaking, Alexander Nix did not dispute that he caused or permitted SCL Elections Ltd or associated companies to market themselves as offering potentially unethical services to prospective clients; demonstrating a lack of commercial probity.

Effective from 5 October 2020, Alexander Nix is disqualified for seven years from acting as a director or directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Alexander Nix was a director of SCL Elections Ltd, a company that provided data analytics, marketing and communication services to political and commercial customers. He was also a director of five other connected UK companies: SCL Group Ltd, SCL Social Ltd, SCL Analytics Ltd, SCL Commercial Ltd, and Cambridge Analytica (UK) Ltd.

From 2016, SCL Elections Ltd was included in a rebranding of associated companies which then operated under the trading names Cambridge Analytica, CA Political (Global) and CA Commercial.

SCL Elections and the five connected companies, however, ceased trading following allegations in the UK and United States media which created substantial adverse publicity.

Some of the accusations against the companies related to allegedly offering potential clients unethical services.

All six companies entered into administration in May 2018 before entering into compulsory liquidation in April 2019. The companies’ insolvencies brought them to the attention of the Insolvency Service, who conducted investigations into the conduct of the directors.

Investigators’ enquiries confirmed that Alexander Nix had caused or permitted SCL Elections or associated companies to act with a lack of commercial probity.

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.

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.

Notes to editors

Alexander James Ashburner Nix is from Holland Park, West London, and his date of birth is in May 1975.

Companies concerned

  • SCL Elections Ltd (Company Number: 08256225)
  • SCL Group Ltd (Company Number: 05514098)
  • SCL Social Ltd (Company Number: 08410560)
  • SCL Analytics Ltd (Company Number: 09838667)
  • SCL Commercial Ltd (Company Number: 08840965)
  • Cambridge Analytica (UK) Ltd (Company Number: 09375920)

Undertaking details

On 14 September 2020, the Secretary of State accepted a seven year disqualification undertaking from Mr Nix. The ban commences on 5 October 2020.

Solely for the purposes consequential to the giving of a disqualification undertaking, he did not dispute the following:

“From no later than January 2013 to March 2018 I caused or permitted SCL Elections Ltd (“SCLE”) or companies associated with SCLE to market themselves as offering potentially unethical services to potential clients, thereby demonstrating a lack of commercial probity including:

  • bribery stings and honey trap stings designed to uncover corruption
  • voter disengagement campaigns
  • the obtaining of information to discredit political opponents
  • the anonymous spreading of information”

About disqualifications

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.

Persons subject to a disqualification order or undertaking are bound by a range of restrictions.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct.

You can also follow the Insolvency Service on:

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