SGX-listed WBL Corporation Limited (Wearnes) – an international conglomerate with key businesses in technology, automotive, property and engineering & distribution – today announced the appointment of Benjamin C. Duster, IV, Esquire, as Non-Executive and Non-Independent Director with effect from 19 April 2010.
Mr Duster is currently Executive Managing Director of Watermark Advisors, LLC, a US-based strategic advisory firm specialising in mergers and acquisitions, private capital raises, strategic valuations and financial modeling. Prior to this, he was with Masson & Company, LLC; Wachovia Securities, where he was Managing Director; and Salomon Brothers, where he worked for 16 years. Currently Chairman of the Compensation Committee of Toronto Stock Exchange-listed pulp and paper producer Catalyst Paper Corporation, Mr Duster has also chaired various board committees of companies listed in Canada, New York and Poland. Mr Duster holds a Juris Doctor-MBA from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) in Economics from Yale College. He was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1985 and is a registered representative of the National Association of Securities Dealers.
Mr Ng Ser Miang, Chairman of Wearnes, said, "The Board welcomes Mr Duster, who brings with him a wealth of experience in the legal, corporate finance and corporate strategy & development aspects of many global businesses. His domain knowledge, international perspectives and cross-border network will be added assets to the Group."
"Mr Duster is nominated by Third Avenue Management LLC, a substantial shareholder of the Company. The Nominating Committee of the Company reviewed his nomination and based on his qualifications and experience, recommended his appointment to the Board of Directors. "
Considering that Third Avenue Management owns 17.47% of WBL Corp, it is a positive indication that the investment firm has nominated a director on board. WBL has a huge asset base, but it may take some experienced "prodding" to realise some of this value.