2 April 2020
Hill & Smith Holdings PLC
Hill & Smith Holdings PLC ('Hill & Smith' or 'the Group'), an international group with leading positions in the supply of infrastructure products and galvanising services to global markets, today announces that, as part of a planned succession process, Derek Muir, Chief Executive, will step down from the Board on 31 December 2020, having informed the Board of his intention to retire.
The Board is pleased to announce that, after an extensive search process, Paul Simmons has been appointed to succeed Derek. He will join Hill & Smith as Chief Executive Designate and as a member of the Board on 1 September 2020, and will work closely with Derek to ensure a smooth hand over of responsibilities.
Derek joined Hill & Smith in 1988, and has been Chief Executive since 2006. He has been instrumental in setting Hill & Smith's strategy and has delivered exceptional returns to shareholders through building a strong, sustainable business supporting critical infrastructure and projects around the world. At an operational level, Derek has put in place a strong and experienced leadership team within the business, and has worked closely with the Board to address his own succession.
Paul joined Halma plc ("Halma") in 2010, and was latterly Chief Executive of the Infrastructure Safety and Process Safety sectors. In the year ended 31 March 2019, these two sectors reported revenue and adjusted operating profit of £606m and £134m respectively. Prior to Halma, he spent nine years at 3M leading businesses in the UK and USA. Paul has a degree in Production Engineering.
Alan Giddins, Chairman of Hill & Smith, said:
"I am delighted that we have been able to attract someone of Paul's calibre to succeed Derek. His time at Halma has given him experience of strategic thinking, operating with a clear sector focus and in a decentralised business model with organic growth enhanced through strategic acquisitions. This experience and outlook makes him uniquely well positioned to take on the Chief Executive role at Hill & Smith.
The Board has thought very carefully about succession and ensuring an effective hand over of responsibilities. By having Derek continue to lead the Group through the current period of market turbulence, while allowing Paul the time to be immersed in the business and take responsibility for the 2021 budget process, I am confident that we will achieve this.
Finally, I would like to thank Derek for everything he has done for Hill & Smith over the last 33 years. He has been an outstanding Chief Executive, and someone with whom I have hugely enjoyed working."
Derek Muir, Chief Executive, said:
"It has been a fantastic journey and I feel enormously privileged to have led a business with immense growth potential and exceptional people. After almost 33 years with the Group, 14 of those as Chief Executive, I am delighted that suitable succession arrangements have now been put in place to enable me to begin to hand over the reins.
Whilst we currently face unprecedented challenges resulting from COVID-19, Hill & Smith has undergone considerable transformation during the last decade and it is in excellent shape to meet those challenges. I look forward to working with Paul during the hand over period to ensure a seamless transition."
Paul Simmons said:
"I am proud and delighted to have been asked to succeed Derek. Hill & Smith is an outstanding business, with a very clear strategy and operating model, and as the economic impact of the virus eventually abates I believe the business is extremely well placed for a very exciting future. I look forward to leading the Group through the next stage of its development."
There are no further matters required to be disclosed under paragraph 9.6.13 of The Listing Rules.
Paul Simmons' remuneration has been determined in accordance with the Company's Directors' Remuneration Policy, and full details will be disclosed in the Company's Directors' Remuneration Report for the year ending 31 December 2020.
For further information please contact:
Hill & Smith Holdings PLC
Alan Giddins, Chairman Tel: 44 (0)121 704 7434
Andrew Jaques / Catherine Chapman Tel: 44 (0)20 3128 8100
Notes to Editors
Hill & Smith Holdings PLC is an international group with leading positions in the design, manufacture and supply of infrastructure products and galvanizing services to global markets. It serves its customers from facilities principally in the UK, France, USA, Sweden, India and Australia.
The Group's operations are organised into three main business segments:
Infrastructure Products - Roads & Security, supplying products and services such as permanent and temporary road safety barriers, hostile vehicle mitigation products, street lighting columns, bridge parapets, temporary car parks, variable road messaging solutions, access covers and security fencing.
Infrastructure Products - Utilities, supplying products and services such as pipe supports for the power and liquid natural gas markets, energy grid components, composite products, building products, industrial flooring and handrails.
Galvanizing Services which provides zinc and other coatings for a wide range of products including fencing, lighting columns, structural steel work, bridges, agricultural and other products for the infrastructure and construction markets.
Headquartered in the UK and quoted on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: HILS.L), Hill & Smith Holdings PLC employs some 4,600 staff, principally in six countries.