Andy King

Flint Appoints James Purnell as New CEO

19 Jun, 2024

We are pleased to announce that James Purnell has been appointed to be the new Chief Executive Officer at Flint Global.

James will start on 1 October 2024, taking over executive leadership of the company from co-founders Ed Richards and Simon Fraser. He will lead Flint’s Executive Committee and our partners and staff in London, Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as our wider international advisory networks across Europe and Asia.

Ed and Simon will remain in the business as Founding Partners, supporting James and actively contributing to client relationships, external representation, business development and talent management. This appointment marks the next stage for Flint's development, building on the remarkable growth we have achieved since our launch in 2015, and the partnership with our investors Growth Capital Partners (GCP) in late 2021.

James is an excellent fit for Flint. He combines an exceptional career record in the worlds of politics and policy with strong commercial experience and outstanding personal qualities. From June 2007 to January 2008, James was the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and then Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in the UK government of PM Gordon Brown.

Before that he was an adviser in PM Tony Blair's Number 10 Policy Unit.  In 2010, he joined Boston Consulting Group as a senior adviser, before moving to the BBC in March 2013 as Director of Strategy and Digital. At the BBC he launched BBC Sounds.  Since 2021 James has been President and Vice Chancellor of the University of the Arts London, a global organisation with an annual turnover of £425 million, which has grown by a quarter under his leadership. He was brought up in France, is a fluent French speaker and has a deep understanding of European and international affairs.

This exciting leadership appointment will bring fresh strengths, ideas and ambition to Flint. We look forward to welcoming James and introducing him personally to the firm’s clients in the months ahead.

Commenting on the appointment Sir Ian Powell, Non-Executive Chair said: “The appointment of James as CEO is another important milestone in the development of Flint . The Board are extremely pleased to welcome a leader of James’s ability and experience and look forward to working with him as Flint continues to grow.” 

Speaking on his appointment, James Purnell said, "I couldn't be more delighted to be joining Flint.  Since the start of the company, I've admired the work it does and the calibre of the team. I look forward to meeting Flint’s clients and staff, and leading Flint in its next stage, working with Simon and Ed as Founding Partners, and with the whole team."

Sir Simon Fraser added, "James is the ideal choice to lead Flint in the next phase of our development and success. His personal qualities and experience in politics, policy and business will bring fresh strength and energy to our service for clients”.

Ed Richards continued, "I am looking forward to working closely with James and supporting his leadership in the years ahead. Flint has always focused on offering clients a real edge in expertise and experience and James fits this model perfectly. We are enormously excited about the future.”

If you have any questions about this announcement please contact us here.

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