Gide needs more than PR puff

As French firms leak talent to boutiques, Parisian powerhouse gets a makeover

Rebranding is always a tricky process and it usually attracts a hefty dose of marketing-speak. Thus it was that French firm Gide Loyrette Nouel broke the news that it would henceforth be known as plain ‘Gide’ with some Gallic flowery language, suggesting that the firm’s “simple yet powerful” new logo showcases its “ambition to uphold its values and be quick to meet the needs of its clients facing the challenges of globalisation”.

Granted, the accompanying website is a vast improvement on Gide’s former effort. And PR puff aside, this marks a genuine effort to revitalise the firm.

As this week’s special report on page 30 highlights, Gide is one of the outfits to have lost partners to the wave of boutiques launching in Paris. While those who have left say the state of their former firm had little to do with their decision, Gide’s management – led by managing partner Stéphane Puel, who took over in 2012 – are acutely aware that a refocus is essential.

With well over 50 years of history under its belt, Gide is one of the few French firms to have bade farewell to all its founders, and needs now to complete the transition from the first generation to being a properly institutionalised outfit. 

Its domestic strength and sheer size should see it safely through, but Puel and his team still have a bit of work to do to ensure Gide’s international strategy is built on more solid foundations than a website modelled on those of today’s Anglo-Saxon giants.