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Clifford Chance recruits new CFO as Purse retires after 11 years

Clifford Chance has hired Patrick Glydon, the global director of commercial initiatives from advertising agency Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN), to succeed its current chief financial officer Stephen Purse, who is set to retire.

Set to start in the role in early September, Glydon will become a member of the firm’s executive leadership group. Chaired by Matthew Layton the group includes three global business units to cover financial markets, M&A and corporate transactions, and risk management and disputes. The group sets firm strategy and oversees its implementation.

In his current role at DAN Glydon is a member of the global finance executive team and responsible for driving change programmes and helping to improve its cash performance around the world. He was also involved in programmes to transform the commercial performance of the finance division and to establish professional standards to support the company’s values.

Glydon previously served as EMEA CFO of Aegis Media, working across 36 markets. He began his career at Guinness, before moving to Granada Group’s Le Meridien hotel business, Hilton Group and Clear Channel Entertainment.

Meanwhile, Purse steps down after 11 years in the role of CFO. He was recruited in 2005 from his role as finance director of Management Consulting Group and has been at the helm through turbulent times at the Magic Circle firm, including a turbulent period post-Lehman where it was the worst affected of leading firms in London and New York due to heavy reliance on banks, private equity houses and a larger property team than its City peers.

Purse leaves the firm in good stead however as its financial results for the 2015/16 year showed revenues went up 3% to £1.39m while profit per equity partner has leapt by 10% to £1.23m, the firm’s highest to date.

Layton said: ‘Patrick’s experience of delivering high performance in demanding client-facing service industries undergoing significant change means he brings a valuable appreciation of the challenges facing the legal sector. Clifford Chance is committed to being the global law firm of choice and that increasingly requires that we embrace change and are open to new ideas, new technologies and new ways of working.’

On the retirement of Purse, Layton added: ‘During some challenging periods of market instability, [Stephen] has ensured that our finances have remained robust throughout.’