RWS Appoints New CFO as Shares Hover Near Record High

Five months after its Chief Finance Officer (CFO) Richard Thompson was promoted to Chief Executive Officer (CEO), RWS announced the appointment of Desmond Glass as the new finance chief. Characteristically for a company that prefers to take the long-view, the appointment is effective November 6, 2017.

Glass is joining the UK-based patent and life sciences language service provider (LSP) from internet gaming software company GameAccount Network (GAN) plc, where he was CFO for nine years.

He had a central role in the London-based firm’s development from an internet start-up to its IPO in November 2013, according to RWS.

Glass also held senior finance roles in New York-based firms, including health and wellness content publisher Rodale International, internet startup Predictit Inc., and American media companies Primedia Inc. and Capital Cities/ABC Inc.  

“He brings a wealth of experience from senior finance roles in international businesses across a variety of sectors and, importantly, has spent significant time in the US, which will be particularly helpful as we continue to expand our presence in this important market,” RWS Chairman Andrew Brode said in a regulatory filing on August 10, 2017.

Corporate Development and M&A

The statement stressed Glass’ experience in “corporate development and M&A due diligence.” RWS followed up on its objective to grow in the US – which it stated as early as 2015 – with the acquisitions of CTi and Luz. Highlighting his corporate development and M&A credentials indicates that the company plans to continue doing deals in the US.

RWS, recently reported continued revenue growth as it posted results for the six months ended March 31, 2017. The strong set of numbers further boosted RWS’ shares, lifting the company’s market cap to nearly GBP 1bn.

Former CFO and deputy CEO Thompson took over the leadership at RWS in April after its long-serving chief executive Reinhard Ottway retired.

Glass, who holds an MBA from Imperial College, London, acknowledged that “RWS has an incredible track record of growth” and said that he will be joining the company at “an exciting time.”

RWS 1-year share performance

“I look forward to working with the team as it continues to build upon its strong position as a premier global supplier of intellectual property support services and a major force in life sciences to drive further international expansion,” Glass added.

Earlier this month, RWS also hired Mark Hjerpe as its new Vice President of Global Sales-Life Sciences. He joined the company from New York-based Divergent Language Solutions, where he was partner and VP of Sales.