Growth surge for Philly construction risk management firm working on Panama Canal

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Massive construction projects need a specialized kind of management to avoid pitfalls, and that's where Talson Solutions steps in. “For most of our clients, construction is not their business. When we work for a hospital, health care is their business, not building a new hospital.” Ditto other massive undertakings like Citizens Bank Park, the Comcast building and the Panama Canal, just a few of Philadelphia based Talson Solutions' clients.

Robert Bright, President of Talson, sees these multimillion dollar efforts as jigsaw puzzles. With nearly 20 years experience in construction litigation and management prior to founding Talson, Bright found an opportunity to build a business overseeing projects at risk. Talson has grown 371 percent in the past five years, according to Bright, and doubled its staff, now employing 12 people at its Old City headquarters.

Leading up to Talson, Bright spent seven years as an expert witness in construction litigation for Price Waterhouse and a dozen years working for Exxon, building large capital projects around the world. “Exxon does it well. They might spend 15 to 20 billion dollars on a capital project. I enjoy that. One might say I have an owner's perspective. It's a different mentality than a contractor. With these types of construction projects, there's a way of doing it right, to identify and anticipate risk.” Bright says his strength is letting people know where concerns may lie, whether it is in the design, the quality of materials, or leadership. “We identify the missing pieces, support that effort, and drill down from there.”

Talson's largest project right now is auditing the $7 billion expansion of the Panama Canal, but Bright stresses that every project, no matter what the cost, represents risk. Because of Talson's involvement in the Canal project, Bright is likely going to open a satellite office in Panama, and is also considering expansion to New York as well.

Talson just celebrated its 10th anniversary this June. Bright reflects on the past decade, during which his two children, for whom the company is named, grew proud of their father's legacy. Bright's daughter, Taylor, is a rising star in her own right, a promising singer/songwriter who recently toured the US as the star of the musical Annie.

Source: Robert Bright, Talson Solutions
Writer: Sue Spolan

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