Jon Bird and Melanie Richards join HKA

06 December 2022 3 min. read
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Risk mitigation, dispute resolution, expert witness and litigation consultancy HKA has announced two senior appointments. Melanie Richards has joined its board, while Jon Bird has arrived as a Technical Director.

A multi-disciplinary professional services firm, HKA specialises in risk mitigation and dispute resolution within the capital projects and infrastructure sector. The UK headquartered firm is home to over 1,000 consultants, experts and advisors, spanning more than 40 offices across 18 countries.

Melanie Richards has joined the firm’s board, as it looks to pursue a heightened growth strategy with new investors PAI Partners. To that end, her professional achievements and skillset will bring “new depth and perspectives to HKA,” according to CEO Renny Borhan.

Jon Bird and Melanie Richards join HKA

Borhan continued, “Her business experience will be immensely beneficial to HKA as we deliver our growth plans and expand into new industries and geographies. We are particularly keen to improve our ESG performance, with equality, diversity and inclusion and environmental sustainability a key area of focus for HKA. We know Melanie’s expertise in these vital areas will ensure we excel in their progression.”

With over 40 years of experience, Richards was previously Deputy Chair for KPMG UK, with a focus on risk, culture, diversity and inclusion, reputation, and environmental social governance (ESG) – before exiting in 2020. Awarded a CBE for her contribution to business and to the diversity and inclusion agenda in 2019, she is a founding member of the 30% Club Steering Committee, and still sits on the Steering Group of the FTSE Women Leaders Review. She also remains a Non-executive Director of Morgan Stanley International, a member of the boards of the Royal National Theatre and Invictus Games Foundation and Chair of The Eve Appeal.

Speaking on her new Non-executive Director role with HKA, Richards commented, “I am pleased to be joining a high-performing collaborative company that has shown significant growth and success in its first five years. I very much look forward to working closely with the Board and the executive management team to build on the business’ strong foundations operationally and in relation to ESG.”

Engineering expertise

Jon Bird has meanwhile arrived at HKA as a Technical Director in its European structural engineering expert team. Based out of the Birmingham office, Bird is a chartered civil and structural engineer, with over 25 years of experience on a variety of commercial, educational, industrial, rail and residential projects. He is experienced in the commercial delivery of projects and financial reporting. 

He brings significant experience in project management to the firm, having worked on a variety of projects. These include leading multi-disciplinary teams and also has a thorough understanding of a wide range of structural analysis and design software packages, including finite element analysis. Jon is also on the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) Examinations Panel having served as a Chief Examiner, and is also an Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Reviewer. 

Speaking on his arrival, Helen Collie, Principal, added, “I’m delighted to welcome Jon to the expanding structural engineering expert team as we grow in capacity and breadth and depth of expertise. With 25 years of experience in the construction industry as a consulting engineer, Jon has a huge range of projects under his belt, and is a Fellow of both the ICE and the IStructE, a real role model for engineers and someone myself and my colleagues look forward to learning from and working with. We are lucky to have him lend his wealth of experience to forensic work!”