Noble Group's senior M&A exec departs: sources

SINGAPORE (REUTERS) - A senior M&A and investments executive at Noble Group has resigned from the company, marking a string of recent departures at the commodities trader as it battles weak prices of resources, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Ms Ellen Chon, who has been with the company for more than six years, is currently on leave, said the people, who declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Ms Chon worked in asset development in her last role, and was formerly the global head of M&A, Noble said in an e-mailed statement. A spokesman for Noble had previously said the company does not comment on personnel matters.

It was not immediately clear where Ms Chon, who had previously worked at Goldman Sachs, was joining. The resignation of Hong Kong-based Chon comes as the commodities downturn is dimming the prospects for commodity traders and producers.

Over the past few years, Noble has focused on securing contracts with commodity suppliers, instead of investing in capital-intensive assets.

On Thursday, Reuters quoted sources as saying that two senior US-based energy executives had left Noble in the past week.

Noble hit the spotlight in February when blogger Iceberg Research questioned its accounting practices. Noble defended its financials, and board-appointed consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers found no wrongdoing in a report published in August.

In August, Noble reported a 22 per cent drop in six-month net profit as commodity prices slumped. Noble has said it is open to selling core businesses, as it pursues options to boost market confidence after the accounting dispute. 

An earlier version of this Reuters story stated that Ms Ellen Chon was the global M&A head of Noble Group at the time of her resignation, when she was actually a senior M&A executive. This mistake was corrected by Reuters on Oct 4, 2015.