Four directors quit First Ship Lease Trust manager, including CEO and CFO

FOUR directors have left FSL Trust Management, the trustee-manager of First Ship Lease Trust, citing differences in opinion between the shipping trust and its manager.

These include Mr Philip Clausius, FSL Trust Management's president and chief executive officer and a non-independent director of First Ship Lease Trust. He is currently serving out his notice period until December 31.

Also resigning is Mr Cheong Chee Tham, senior vice-president and chief financial officer of FSL Trust Management. He will be serving out his notice until Sept 30.

Mr Wong Meng Meng, chairman of the board of directors of FSL Trust Management, has also ceased his directorship. Mr Wong, the founder of local law firm WongPartnership, was also an independent director and member of the audit committee of the trustee-manager.

The fourth departure was that of independent director Phang Thim Fatt, who also served as chairman of FSL Trust Management's audit committee.

All four quit FSL Trust Management with effect from June 30, according to announcements filed on the Singapore Exchange on Thursday morning by FSL Trust.

The trust said the reason for the departures was "differences in opinion in respect of the management of First Ship Lease Trust and FSL Trust Management".

For the departures of Mr Wong and Mr Phang, the reason cited was "differences in opinion in respect of the conduct of a board meeting".

The trust also said on Thursday that a six-month extension it had obtained to relax its loan covenants had not been approved through a board resolution at the time of its announcement in June.

The trust had announced on June 10 that it had secured the extension from its lenders until Dec 31. Despite the lack of a board resolution, the trust had also made a prepayment of US$10 million on June 27, which was required for the extension.

Now, however, the trust's board of directors have approved all the terms and conditions of the extension, including the prepayment, the trust said on Thursday.

First Ship Lease Trust requested on Thursday morning that its shares be suspended from trading pending an announcement.