Briefing

After just two months, Alex Benay leaves Ottawa AI startup for KPMG’s government practice

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The former federal CIO joined MindBridge Analytics, which makes artificial intelligence tools for auditors, as its chief client officer in August. He will continue to advise the company. Benay is subject to a one-year cooling-off period during which he cannot be involved with KPMG’s federal government business in Canada, he told The Logic, adding that Conflict of Interest Commissioner Mario Dion had cleared the appointment. (The Logic) 

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Talking point: Benay said while he understands the “optics” of leaving after two months—and for a MindBridge client in KPMG—he isn’t leaving because of problems at the company, and will continue to help it with public-sector clients and new markets. “I found myself continuously being drawn into some of the large policy or business files in the country,” he said, citing digital identity and artificial intelligence ethics as examples. He said after focusing on policy related to those digital issues in the public service, he wanted the opportunity to work on their implementation across non-government sectors at KPMG. MindBridge recruited Benay and former Deloitte managing partner Miyo Yamashita as chief strategy officer as it expands to the banking and insurance sectors and prepares for a potential 2021 IPO after raising $29.6 million in new government and VC funding. Yamashita told The Logic that Benay’s departure will not affect the company’s plans.