Nigel Oakes

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Nigel Oakes
Nigel John Oakes

July 1962 (age 57)
TitleFounder and CEO of SCL Group
Parent(s)Major John Waddington Oakes

Nigel John Oakes (born July 1962) is a British businessman, and the founder and CEO of Behavioural Dynamics Institute and SCL Group (formerly Strategic Communication Laboratories), the parent company of Cambridge Analytica.

Early life[edit]

Whichford House

Nigel Oakes was born in July 1962, the son of Major John Waddington Oakes, who was High Sheriff of Warwickshire in 1996, and lived at Whichford House in Whichford, Warwickshire.[1][2][3][4] He was educated at Eton.[5] He claims on the SCL website to have studied psychology at University College London (UCL), but a university spokesman says they have no record of this, and Alexander Nix (a director of SCL) says Oakes attended UCL "in a private capacity."[6][7]


Oakes ran a mobile disco, before working in advertising for Saatchi & Saatchi.[6][8]

In 1992, Oakes talked to a trade journal about his work: "We use the same techniques as Aristotle and Hitler ... We appeal to people on an emotional level to get them to agree on a functional level."[9]

In 2000, his company Behavioural Dynamics was based in Jakarta, Indonesia, where he worked as an image consultant to President Abdurrahman Wahid, who was facing financial misconduct allegations.[5][9]

In 2005, Oakes co-founded the London-based SCL Group (formerly Strategic Communication Laboratories), along with his younger brother Alexander Oakes, Alexander Nix and Rollo Gabb.[10]

In 2013, fellow Old Etonian Alexander Nix, a director of SCL for 14 years, started Cambridge Analytica with a view to targeting the American market.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Oakes was the second "serious boyfriend" of Lady Helen Windsor, and "appalled the Queen" after she smuggled him into her parents' grace-and-favour home, York House, St James's Palace.[6][5][11][12]


  1. ^ Watt, Holly; Osborne, Hilary (21 March 2018). "Tory donors among investors in Cambridge Analytica parent firm". the Guardian. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  2. ^ "About Us - Whichford House". Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  3. ^ "High Sheriff of Warwickshire - 20th Century - Technology Trends". Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Nigel John OAKES - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Old Etonian smoothie fails to buff Indonesian leader's image". 6 August 2000. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Doward, Jamie (4 March 2017). "Did Cambridge Analytica influence the Brexit vote and the US election?". the Guardian. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Trump's Data Gurus Leave a Long Trail of Subterfuge and Dubious Dealing". 23 March 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2018 – via
  8. ^ Irani, Delshad (29 March 2017). "Why is ex-adman Nigel Oakes being hailed as the '007' of big data?". Retrieved 21 March 2018 – via The Economic Times.
  9. ^ a b "A Data Team Tied To Trump's Campaign Has A Pretty Unusual Past". Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  10. ^ Brown, David (21 March 2018). "SCL Group's founders were connected to royalty, the rich and powerful". Retrieved 21 March 2018 – via
  11. ^ "why so wild about harry?". Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  12. ^ "The Londoner: The naked truth of Mary Beard at college". Retrieved 21 March 2018.