The right-hand man to the late Bertram Rickmers has ended a career spanning almost two decades with the German shipping group.

Ulrik Kriete is stepping down as managing director and chief financial officer of Brick Holding and Asian Spirit Steamship Co (ASSC).

He plans to take up a new position with another Hamburg shipping company in October.

The move comes shortly after the sudden passing of Bertram Rickmers, who died in May aged 71.

The decision had apparently been discussed with Rickmers senior, whose passing Kriete said had left a huge void in his own professional and personal life.

“My decision to leave Bertram Rickmers’ group of companies was only discussed and agreed with him personally shortly before his death,” Kriete writes on LinkedIn.

“I leave the group of companies and the shareholder family with a great deal of gratitude for the many opportunities, experiences, successes and adventures of the last 20 years.”

“I wish the sixth generation of the Bertram RC Rickmers family with Clasen Rickmers, Anna Rickmers-Heilemann and Lara Rickmers all the best in their entrepreneurial activities, especially with the ASSC Group, but of course also in their private lives.”

Kriete has for many years worked alongside Bertram Rickmers and his son, Clasen, after he joined the Hamburg-based shipping group in 2004.

Since then, he had seen “many highs and few lows with the great entrepreneur Bertram RC Rickmers”, Kriete wrote.

In recent years, Kriete helped the Rickmers family stage a comeback with ASSC, which he helped to manage with Bertram’s son Clasen.

ASSC is listed with a fleet of five modern feedermax container ships and a platform supply vessel, according to Clarksons Research.