Meet Benjamin Donnachie
Senior Vice President
Before Ben Donnachie was a Senior Vice President in AlixPartners’ Digital Practice and the EMEA leader of the firm’s Military and Uniformed Services Team (MUST) employee resource group, he led the Community Safety Unit (CSU) in Greenwich Borough for London’s Metropolitan Police.
Ben joined the Met Police in 1998 and, as part of of his detectives training, rotated between different roles and departments. In each role, Ben learned a new skill that he relies on today as a consultant advising companies on their cyber risk, including managing unpredictability day-to-day as a patrol officer or critical thinking skills that he developed investigating sophisticated crimes as a member of the burglary squad.
After leaving the burglary squad, Ben was assigned to lead the Greenwich CSU, the most formative and rewarding experience of his police career.
The Met Police established the CSUs in the wake of the failed murder investigation of Stephen Lawrence, a black teenager who was the victim of a racist attack while he was waiting for a bus in southeast London. CSUs took a multi-agency approach to investigate hate crimes and domestic violence incidents while also providing support and resources to the victims.
Day-to-day, Ben supervised uniformed teams, took over investigations as needed, and presented evidence in court. He also worked with external agencies to provide potentially life-saving support to victims, like housing in a domestic violence refuge.
“You had to fight for your victims and go head-to-head with these other agencies to get them to do what needed to be done,” he recalled.
According to Ben, the CSUs represented the first time that the Met dedicated resources specifically for investigating these kinds of cases. It was a shift in approach, and Ben was responsible for ensuring that his team followed new protocols and the cases were handled correctly.
In another departure, the personal nature of the cases made them more complex than the ones he encountered prior to the CSU. With a burglary case, for example, a fingerprint or DNA would be needed to tie someone to a crime. In a CSU case, a victim’s testimony was critical.
While he didn’t at first think of himself as a “people person,” Ben established connections with his victims to get the right information to build the case and then guide them through the emotional process to trial. “I never lost one of my cases,” he said. “I’m very proud of that.”
Despite the stress of the role, he was able to make a material difference in many people’s lives. Leading the CSU also helped prepare him to excel in his consulting career.
After receiving a master’s degree in digital forensics, Ben left the service to manage a forensics lab for a global cybersecurity consulting firm. As he progressed in his career including advising on breaches and providing cyber risk assessments, Ben regularly drew on the skills he developed from his police training—combing through large amounts of information, assessing what was critical, and presenting that information clearly and concisely.
When Ben joined AlixPartners more than two years ago, he found the work to be more strategic and varied than his previous consulting experiences. Whatever the project, Ben’s crisis response experience and emotional intelligence allowed him to calmly step back, see what happened, and come up with a solution.
“AlixPartners is unique, which is why we are working so hard with our talent acquisition team to bring in veterans and uniformed service members,” Ben said. “The work we do here is really high-stakes, so to have someone who can be in that vortex of chaos and know how to build trust with your client and deal with it is really beneficial.”
This November, AlixPartners salutes servicemembers across the world by sharing the stories of members of our Military and Uniformed Services Team (MUST) employee resource group and highlighting the unique and valuable perspective they bring to our firm.