Hill International chief executive departs

David Richter, the chief executive of Hill International, is to leave the firm with immediate effect.

Mr Richter is set to be replaced as interim chief executive by Paul Evans. Mr Evans is one of three directors who joined the firm last September and who were nominated by activist investor Bulldog Investors following a proxy dispute.

Mr Richter had been chief executive since 2014, taking over from his father, Irvin Richter, who founded the project management company back in 1976. Irvin Richter had remained as chairman, but stepped down from this role when the three activist investors were voted in last September.

Hill International subsequently announced that it would sell off its construction claims divi­sion to Bridgepoint Capital in a deal that was initially worth $147 million.

However, the company announced on Wednesday evening that the deal would now only be worth $140m, and that the amount of working capital the company needs to make available to Bridgepoint had been increased by $3m to $38.4m.

Hill International will also need to provide guarantees regarding some of the construction claims group’s outstanding liabilities.

The sell-off was supposed to conclude by the end of March, but will now conclude today.

Hill International also revealed first-quarter results for 2017, which showed a 20 per cent year-on-year decline in revenue to $107.6m, which it blamed on a 36.7 per cent drop in consulting fee revenue from the Middle East, which is its biggest market, responsible for just under half of its 2016 revenue.

Its Latin American arm was also subject to a 41.5 per cent decline in consulting fees. The firm reported a net loss of $7.1m, compared with a profit of $1.5m a year earlier.

Speaking about his departure, David Richter, who had worked at Hill International for 22 years, said that he felt it had been important to remain at the helm until the sale of the construction claims group had been finalised.

“This sale will significantly improve Hill’s financial position and create opportunities for growth that were not possible prior to the sale,” he said. “I am extremely proud of the team we have built at Hill and I am honoured to have served as CEO of such an outstanding organisation.”

Craig Martin, the chairman of Hill International, said: “David was an integral part of Hill’s growth and the driving force behind the sale of the claims group. He is leaving on a very high note having orchestrated the most important transaction in Hill’s history.”


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