November 12, 2018 / 3:49 PM / a month ago

Noble Group to name former Morgan Stanley banker as next chairman: sources

A Noble Group sign is pictured at a meet-the-investors event in Singapore August 17, 2015. REUTERS/Edgar Su/Files

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Noble Group Ltd is set to appoint Ian Potter, a former senior banker at Morgan Stanley, as its next chairman in a few weeks, just as the commodities trader seeks to complete its $3.5 billion debt restructuring, sources with knowledge of the matter said on Monday.

Singapore-based Potter has been working with Noble in an advisory capacity for the past few months, said one of the sources, who declined to be named as Singapore-listed Noble has not made any official announcement about its next chairman.

Reuters was not able to contact Potter and an external spokeswoman at Noble had no immediate comment on the subject.

Potter is a managing partner at Lion City Capital, a private investment company. He previously had a nearly two decade stint at Morgan Stanley, where he was the head of its Asia commodities, among other roles, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Paul Brough, a restructuring veteran and Noble’s current chairman, brought the firm back from one of the biggest near-death corporate experiences in Asia and had said he would step down once the restructuring was completed.

Noble’s next chairman will be tasked with steering the company into profitability as it transforms itself into an Asian-centric trader mainly dealing with coal, freight and liquefied natural gas.

Noble is seeking approval from a UK court and a Bermuda court for its restructuring and payment to creditors, in what would mark its final hurdle to completing the debt-for-equity swap. Faced with the prospect of insolvency, Noble’s shareholders reluctantly backed its restructuring.

The Financial Times reported on Monday that Potter had emerged as the frontrunner to be the next chairman of Noble.

Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Mark Potter

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