“Control-wise, a total mess” -Ex Noble


By DB, Ex-Noble

“They have been going through a true roller coaster in the past few years which I believe will eventually end up in a dead end.

I am by no means an accounting expert, but you know it does not really take one to realise that something isn’t going right.

When I joined Noble things were all over the place, for a young guy like me it was frustrating but also kind of beneficial as I got dropped into a bit of a mess and had to find my way out by learning things first hand.

They tried to create a clear business structure, establish strong support teams, make up a business plan but to my mind they failed and quite badly.

Firstly, by mistreating their employees and secondly by mismanaging their own business. Plus, wasn’t it a bit too late to do this for a multinational company that has 15k workers worldwide?

regards to Iceberg etc, I am not entirely sure if somebody is trying to deliberately mislead the market. I rule that out but I feel like it’s more of a competency issue or laziness or both.

I saw really weird things happening at Noble. Maybe when they grasped the extent of the problem they were in, it was already too late to fix it so what followed next was just a bunch of stupid excuses, unjustified blames and empty promises…

They are half way through now so we’ll see where it takes them.

On the other hand, I think Noble made one fatal mistake by starting to narrow and focus their business on energy alone and especially oil liquids. Oil business has changed a lot during the past 4 years there too.

Lately the results might have been a little misleading because huge chunk of profits in past years came from totally unexpected price moves in ethanol or gasoline so thanks to that losses elsewhere didn’t look that big anymore.

Plus one trader in the states keeps making huge money every year on pipeline deals, without him the story of oil liquids as a whole would be completely different.

Anyway, the story of Noble is worth writing a book, mostly of how not to run your business. They are now desperately trying to revive their image by hiring former goldmans, jpms, trafis etc.. just as you said, looking for a form of credibility assurance or market reputation. 

That doesn’t really work that well either. The whole system has to change and adapt to a totally different environment dictated by people who come from relentless money making power houses thinking they just joined a similar business or at least a business with a similar sort of potential.

I came to a point where I felt that the time has come for me to move on.

I was exhausted physically and emotionally and really felt like things are not going anywhere”. 

-DB (No Longer On-Board The Sinking Ship)


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