Noble Group says chairman Elman steps down from two board committees

Noble founder and chairman Richard Elman.
Noble founder and chairman Richard Elman. PHOTO: NOBLE GROUP

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - The chairman of Singapore-listed Noble Group Ltd has stepped down from the company's audit committee, in the first major move for the co-founder since the firm's accounting practices were called into question earlier this year.

Influential proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services had called for significant changes to Noble's audit committee weeks after Asia's biggest commodity trader denied claims of misleading accounting made by blogger Iceberg Research.

In a statement on Wednesday, Noble said Richard Elman, the biggest shareholder of the company, had also stepped down as a member of its nominating committee. It gave no reason for the "realignment" of its board committees.

Noble said in its latest annual report that Elman was a member of the audit committee in view of his "extensive knowledge of the operations and history of the group, and the benefits he is able to bring to discussions and deliberations on a wide range of topics considered by the Committee".

Noble on Wednesday also said it had appointed independent director Christopher Pratt as head of the remuneration and options committee. It named another independent director, Richard Margolis, as chairman of the corporate social responsibility and government relations committee.