The companies that have most recently emerged from Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group are Emerdata Limited and Dynamo Recoveries Limited. This chart shows current and former officers and directors and related people and entities.
I have been following Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group for a long time. In 2017 I co-created a chart of the complex SCL and CA business structure with Ann Marlowe that was later used in the U.K. parliament as they investigated the company. I first tweeted out about Emerdata in December 2017 and then in March 2018 received a tip from researcher Brexit Shambles and broke the story that Emerdata director Johnson Ko was a close business partner of Erik Prince, and that Rebekah and Jennifer Mercer were also directors.
A few months later in May 2018 a New York Times story confirmed that Emerdata was created to become the new Cambridge Analytica. SCL executive Nigel Oakes had described how SCL Group and Cambridge Analytica would roll-up into Emerdata:
Cambridge and SCL officials privately raised the possibility that Emerdata could be used for a Blackwater-style rebranding of Cambridge Analytica and the SCL Group, according to two people with knowledge of the companies who asked for anonymity to describe confidential conversations. One plan under consideration was to sell off the combined company’s data and intellectual property.
An executive and a part owner of SCL Group, Nigel Oakes, has publicly described Emerdata as a way of rolling up the two companies under one new banner. Efforts to reach him by phone on Wednesday were unsuccessful.
Over the years I have continued to follow and report on these companies and have highlighted a few key updates in the chart above and the notes below.
Emerdata and Dynamo Recoveries shared directors
The directors of Emerdata Limited and Dynamo Recoveries are identical and include Rebekah and Jennifer Mercer as well as Jacquelyn James-Varga who is a partner in an accounting firm and who is involved in several Mercer family foundations, PACs and other entities.
The fourth director Gary Ka Chun Tiu has worked in senior roles for Johnson Chun Shun Ko at Reorient Group, which was sold to Yunfeng Financial, and who also is Executive Director at BC Technology Group where Johnson Ko is the largest owner. Johnson Ko, who was briefly a director of Emerdata in 2018, is a very close long-time business partner of Erik Prince and helped him create Frontier Services Group in China.
After Ko stepped down as Emerdata director in 2018, his business associate Gary Ka Chun Tiu joined the board of Emerdata and later Dynamo Recoveries.
Researcher @braisincapital (aka brazencapital) found another notable connection. After Johnson Ko was a director of Emerdata in 2018 the confirmation statement listed Trinity Gate Ltd as an owner of approximately six percent of preference shares. There is a company called Trinity Gate that is listed as a minority shareholder in Frontier Services Group, which was led at the time by Erik Prince and Johnson Ko. There have not been any updates to the 2018 confirmation statement indicating the ownership of Emerdata remains the same.
Dynamo Recoveries set up to manage litigation
The SCL Elections Progress Report filed on 15 June 2022 described Dynamo Recoveries as a “special purpose vehicle set up to advance litigation related to the collapse of the Companies” (e.g. various U.K. and U.S. based SCL and Cambridge Analytica companies).
A July 2022 law360 article announced that Dynamo Recoveries, run by Rebekah Mercer, was suing Alexander Nix, the former chief executive of Cambridge Analytica for £16million ($19 million), accusing him of allegedly breaching his duties as a director and misrepresenting the Cambridge Analytica business.
The case is Dynamo Recoveries Ltd. v. Nix, case # CL-2022-000321 in the High Court of Justice of England and Wales.
SCL and Cambridge Analytica liquidation is ongoing
Many of the SCL and Cambridge Analytica companies are still in the process of liquidation and bankruptcy.
The SCL Elections progress report filed in June 2022 lists various ongoing matters including: pursuit of assets, pursuit and progression of investigative matters, and payment to creditors. The progress report conclusion notes that the “Joint Liquidators anticipate that the Liquidation will remain open for a further 24 months.”
Many reporters and researchers following the SCL and Cambridge Analytica story have been interested in whether the data, tools and intellectual property of these companies has transferred to Emerdata or to other companies associated with former owners, officers and executives. However, the answer to this question is murky given the ongoing liquidation and bankruptcy process and the complexity of the prior corporate structure, as well as the continually emerging new related companies.
Questionardo Limited and Qudo AI
Questionardo Limited, created in August 2020, is particularly interesting since two officers — Ahmad Al Khatib and Chun Shun Johnson Ko — were previously officers of Emerdata and are now both officers of Questionardo Limited, which uses artificial intelligence for market research.
As I previously reported, Johnson Chun Shun Ko was a long-time business associate of Erik Prince at Frontier Services Group, the majority state-owned Chinese company where Prince was Executive Director and Chairman until 2021, and where Ko remains Executive Director and Deputy Chairman.
And, as I reported in July 2018, Ahmad Al Khatib, who lists his nationality as ‘Emerati’ in the Emerdata filing, has ties to the UAE, Russia and the Seychelles. After Ahmad Al Khatib left Emerdata, he launched Auspex International with Managing Director Mark Turnbull, who had previously been international political division head at Cambridge Analytica. Several other former SCL and Cambridge Analytica employees went on to work for Auspex International. The two directors of Auspex International, brothers Ahmad Al Khatib and Omar Al Khatib, are also directors at Questionardo Limited.
Questionardo Limited operates the Qudo AI website and service. Per Pitchbook, Qudo AI has seventeen employees and raised $3.5 million in funding in April 2022. Several of the seventeen people on LinkedIn who work at Qudo previously worked at Auspex International. According to Mihajlo Popesku’s LinkedIn, he was Head of Research at SCL Elections from December 2017 to May 2018 and Head of Research at Auspex International from January 2019 to October 2020 before becoming the co-founder and Chief Research Officer of Qudo.
As various SCL and Cambridge Analytica companies wind down their operations, there are various companies, in addition to Emerdata and Dynamo Recoveries, that have been created by former SCL and CA owners, officers and executives. Questionardo (with Qudo) is one of the most interesting because of the ties it has to SCL, Cambridge Analytica and Emerdata, as well as the links the executives have to China, the UAE, and Erik Prince.
The chart below — ‘SCL and Cambridge Analytica – Active and Related Companies’ — is from 2020. While some of the information is now outdated, it shows several of the key companies where many former SCL and CA officers and executives went to work.
U.K. Companies House – Emerdata Limited filing information
U.K. Companies House – Dynamo Recoveries Limited filing information
U.K. Companies House – Auspex International Ltd filing information
U.K. Companies House – Questionardo Limited filing information
Related Charts and Articles on Cambridge Analytica, SCL Group, Emerdata
Update: the post was updated on September 7, 2022 to include information about Trinity Gate partial ownership of Emerdata and Frontier Services Group.