|Shareholders of Magnus Energy are waiting with bated breath for their stock to resume trading. It has been suspended for the last 18 months.
The company cleared a crucial hurdle at an EGM last October, winning shareholder approval to diversify its business.
Following that, on 11 Dec 2020, it submitted a proposal to resume trading, which is now before the Singapore Exchange (SGX).
Dato' Kunal's credentials, which are set out in a 19 Feb 2021 announcement on the SGX website, look set to complement strongly the other two IDs as well as Magnus Energy's CEO, Charles Madhavan.
What expertise and experience does he see himself bringing to the company?
"Meanwhile, it has brought on board an independent director (ID), Dato' Kunalbir Singh Chahl, 46.Considering the company's new strategic partnerships with strong regional oil and gas players, its critical focus on drilling and EPC activities across the Asia-Pacific region and a stronger market outlook for the supply of oil and gas equipment through its US subsidiary, Mid-Continent, I am confident about the long-term prospects and growth of the company," he says.
"Accordingly, I am keen to tap into my network for the intrinsic benefit of the company, in addition to adding value on legal, regulatory, capital markets and investor relations matters."
It's a fresh board. Mr Madhavan was voted into the board of Magnus Energy in Jan 2020 and appointed CEO too on a wave of shareholder dissatisfaction with the previous management. (See Business Times article: Team led by Charles Madhavan wins Magnus board tussle)
Two IDs were appointed to the board in Aug 2020:
|• Michael Grant Pixley (Independent Non-Executive Chairman): A veteran banker formerly based in Singapore, currently in Australia.
• Winston Milner (Independent Non-Executive Director): Career in various MNCs holding a variety of roles from Engineering, Business Development, Sales & Marketing to Senior Management.
Dato' Kunal joined the board following the resignation of an ID recently.
As background, Dato' Kunal has been a lawyer, investment banker and private equity investment manager, having obtained his bachelor’s degree in law from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1997 and his master's degree in law from King's College London in 1999.
During his time as a practising lawyer in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (where he originally hails from) and Singapore, he specialized in cross-border M&A, corporate finance, private equity and capital markets transactions.
Then he transitioned into finance roles, holding posts such as:
• Singapore Director of Investments, Global Wealth Management, Merrill Lynch International Bank Limited.
He was part of a team that managed more than US$2bn in assets, and his role involved structuring, advising on and delivering institutional asset and wealth management solutions to large corporations, public-sector funds, government-linked companies and family offices across South-East Asia.
• Chief Operating Officer of Hera Capital Partners, a private equity firm that invested in companies such as Gojek of Indonesia and SaladStop! of Singapore.
He stepped down as COO of Hera Capital Partners in December 2018 but has since stayed on as a senior advisor to the firm in addition to being an advisor to various corporates and family offices within the South-East Asian region.
Penang-born Dato' Kunal, now a Singapore citizen, has been appointed chairman of the audit committee on a board that has 3 IDS to oversee and empower the CEO.
It's a lean board currently made up of only one executive director.
To those who know CEO Charles Madhavan, he is very much a hands-on and on-the-ground boss, whose frequent on-site presence is a given.
He has decades of on-shore, off-shore field operational experience with major global oil and gas corporations in various parts of the world.
With that comes a multi-layered network of friends and contacts in the industry.
This is likely the X-factor that combines with his trademark affability to underpin a turnaround in Magnus Energy's business.
Already, there are projects being nursed to the launch points, a process made challenging by travel restrictions during this Covid period. See: MAGNUS ENERGY: Ready for takeoff but upcoming EGM win required first