August 31, 2017 / 3:48 PM / in a year

Noble Group's treasury head quits; most high profile exit in a year

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Noble Group’s treasury head has quit the company,

The company logo of Noble Group is seen at its headquarters in Hong Kong March 23, 2015. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

at a time when the Singapore-listed commodities trader is drastically slimming down its core Asian coal-trading business.

Group treasurer Wildrik de Blank’s exit is the most high profile departure at Noble since Yusuf Alireza quit unexpectedly as CEO in May 2016 and two new co-CEOs were appointed.

Wildrik, who was involved in the company’s negotiations with its main lenders about credit facilities, is leaving the Hong Kong-headquartered firm after 16 years.

Once Asia’s largest commodities trading house, Noble is slashing jobs and selling assets to cut debt after a crisis-wracked two years. Last month, it announced the sale of its North American gas and power business and began a process to sell its oil liquids unit. [nL8N1LH039]

When contacted by Reuters, Wildrik said, “We mutually agreed on the departure and I leave a strong team behind.”

In another move, Noble’s group head of market risk, Yannis Tzamouranis, has also left Noble after seven years at the company.

A Hong-Kong based spokesman at Noble confirmed that Wildrik and Tzamouranis were leaving the firm but declined to provide details or say if Noble had appointed replacements.

Tzamouranis told Reuters he was no longer with Noble.

Wildrik was listed as one of seven executives who make up Noble’s senior management and was featured in the company’s latest annual report.

Sources close to Noble and investors have said Noble’s business remains hemmed in by financing constraints - a major issue for trading houses - and has lost many traders, analysts and managers over the past months, despite cash offers to keep key staff until December. [nL3N1KJ3OC]

Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Susan Fenton

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