Preserving the good name of Meinhardt group

I write in reference to the article on Aug 3 ("He sold all his assets to buy firm he works in").

The article details an interview with Dr Shahzad Nasim, the current chairman of the Meinhardt global engineering group of companies.

I am the daughter of Bill Meinhardt, who founded Meinhardt. There are a number of assertions contained within the article that I wish to clarify.

Meinhardt was founded by my late father, William (Bill) Meinhardt, in 1955. I worked alongside him in the 1990s and continued to do so until his retirement in 2002, at which time I became chairman of the group.

The article states that Dr Nasim "had persuaded the (Meinhardt) family to sell the firm to him instead of a European-listed company, just two days before the deal was sealed, as he did not want to see the Meinhardt name disappear". This statement could be interpreted to mean that he persuaded me not to sell and that would be a fallacy.

When I was approached by a European firm to sell Meinhardt, it took some time for me to be persuaded to sell, as Meinhardt was a precious part of my life.

However, I decided to withdraw from the sale as I was fearful that the Meinhardt name would disappear, and that my father's legacy would be lost.

Dr Nasim, as a minority shareholder at that time, was informed of my decision not to proceed with the sale to the European firm, and, indeed, attempted to persuade me to continue with the sale, a request which I did not accede to.

It was not until some time later that Dr Nasim approached me about the possibility of him purchasing Meinhardt directly.

With comfort that Dr Nasim would continue the good name of Meinhardt, this was ultimately agreed to and the sale was concluded.

The article also gives the impression that Dr Nasim alone was responsible for the development of Meinhardt into a 30-office operation.

While Dr Nasim had been a managing director of Meinhardt Singapore during some of the expansion period, no one individual was ever solely responsible for the firm's growth.

Victoria Meinhardt (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2015, with the headline 'Preserving the good name of Meinhardt group'. Print Edition | Subscribe