ecoWise appoints two independent directors in the wake of SGX RegCo's compliance notice

ecoWise's board of directors said it has assessed the qualifications, expertise and competencies of the appointees. PHOTO: ECOWISE HOLDINGS

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Troubled environmental solutions provider ecoWise Holdings has hired two independent directors, effective from Sept 3.

These appointments come after bourse regulator Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) slapped the company with a notice of compliance on June 25, ordering it to appoint two new independent directors, commission an internal audit and an audit of its first-half 2021 results, as well as form a new auditing committee.

The first appointment is Mr Lo Kim Seng, as an independent non-executive director. Mr Lo was also appointed as the chairman of the remuneration committee, as well as a member of both the audit and nominating committees.

The 59-year-old is also currently serving on the boards of other Singapore-listed companies. He is an independent non-executive director of Fragrance Group, the lead independent director of No Signboard Holdings and an independent director of CFM Holdings.

The second appointment announced by the group is Mr Tham Chee Soon, who will serve as an independent non-executive director, chairman of the audit committee and a member of both the nominating and remuneration committees.

The 56-year-old is currently also a non-executive independent director at Fragrance Group and Hwa Hong Corp.

Mr Tham was also an audit partner at EY Singapore from 2004 till his retirement in June 2018, and reportedly has 31 years' experience in the accounting field.

ecoWise's board of directors said they are of the view that the appointments of both Mr Lo and Mr Tham will "enhance the effectiveness of the board and be beneficial to the company". The board also said that it has assessed the qualifications, expertise, work experience and competencies of both individuals.

ecoWise suspended the trading of its shares on June 18 following a trading halt called on June 15. The counter last traded at 7.8 cents on June 14.

The company disclosed that an internal dispute had arose, leading to ecoWise chief executive Lee Thiam Seng to change the locks of its server rooms and suspend deputy CEO Cao Shixuan and other staff on June 15. Mr Cao made a police report about the incident on June 16.

Mr Lee had alleged the company acted without his approval.

On Aug 13, the company could not proceed with an extraordinary general meeting to vote on the removal of Mr Cao, after the High Court granted him an interim injunction of the meeting a day earlier.

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