McKinsey's QuantumBlack launches office in Montreal

10 December 2018 3 min. read

London-based QuantumBlack, a leading advanced analytics firm acquired by McKinsey & Company in 2015, will be launching its first Canadian office – in the AI and deep learning hub of Montreal, QC. The move will create up to 30 deep learning and data engineering jobs by 2020, and will bring QuantumBlack’s global office count to six.

Founded in 2009 in London and initially known as Adaptiveflow Decisions, QuantumBlack is the brainchild of three data and analytics experts: Simon Williams (Director), Jacomo Corbo, PhD (Chief Scientist), and Sam Bourton (Chief Technology Officer). The three co-founders have links to the Formula One racing world: Williams founded SmithBayes, a spinoff of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 team; Corbo was the Chief Race Strategist for the Renault F1 team between 2006 and 2008; and Bourton led the design and development of F1 trackside management software.

The firm’s leadership also has ties to Montreal, with Jacomo Corbo and Americas Managing Director Yves Boussemart, PhD, having previously studied engineering at McGill University.

The new QuantumBlack office will be located at the Centre of Excellence in the Montréal Institute for Learning Algorithms (Mila) founded by McGill and Université de Montréal in 2017 and located at 640 Avenue Orly. The new office will be led by Yves Boussemart.McKinsey's QuantumBlack launches office in MontrealQuantumBlack’s arrival in Montreal was announced at the prestigious NeurIPS conference earlier this month. Two other UK analytics and AI firms also announced that they would be setting up shop in the city: WinningMinds and BIOS. Together, the three firms are expected to create over 130 high-skill jobs over the next three years.

Montreal’s attractiveness to AI firms is driven by its dynamic scientific community, which boasts the world’s largest concentration of academic researchers in deep learning. “I’m thrilled we are going to be adding to our global community of specialists with Montréal’s outstanding pool of talent,” commented QuantumBlack CEO Jeremy Palmer. “Montréal has quickly become a world-leading centre in AI and deep learning.”

Boussemart added, “The city boasts the largest number of AI university researchers in Canada, with 250 researchers from the Université de Montréal and McGill University. We work closely with many academic institutions across the world and look forward to building on our existing relationships.”

The company’s engineers, data scientists, and designers have helped numerous companies across aerospace, finance, life sciences, and natural resources harness the power of data to drive better decision-making.

“McKinsey has been in Montréal for the last 25 years and next spring, QuantumBlack will become the second office within the firm to open in Québec,” remarked Vincent Bérubé, a partner in McKinsey’s Montreal office. “McKinsey and QuantumBlack have been active in the region for some time helping companies to embrace AI at scale and take a global leadership role in applying the latest thinking about AI to real world business applications. But today marks an even bigger commitment to this.”

The office expects to hire up to 30 high-skill workers within a year. Aside from its London HQ, QuantumBlack has additional locations in Boston, Sao Paolo, Sydney, and Gurgaon, India.