August 31, 2017 / 9:17 AM / 10 months ago

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

SINGAPORE, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Noble Group’s treasury head has quit the company, at a time when the Singapore-listed commodities trader is slimming down drastically to 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, is leaving the Hong Kong-headquartered firm after a 16-year stint.

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.

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

A Hong-Kong based spokesman at Noble confirmed that Wildrik was leaving the company but declined to provide details or say if Noble had appointed a replacement.

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. (Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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