One of the most famous names in the Asian commodities scene has finally stepped down. Richard Elman, the founder of Hong Kong’s Noble Group, resigned from the board of the troubled company yesterday after it emerged he and other senior executives are being sued by a major shareholder.
Elman, 77, founded Noble in 1986 and built it up into one of the world’s largest commodities houses before it was rocked by allegations of accounting fraud, which it has consistently denied. In the last couple of years, Singapore-listed Noble’s market cap has dwindled drastically. Despite relinquishing his non-executive board position Elman remains the group’s top shareholder with an 18.3% stake.
Goldilocks Investment Company – an Abu Dhabi fund with an 8.1% stake in Noble – on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the firm accusing it of inflating profits to raise money and justify extravagant remuneration packages.