Commodities trader Trafigura has hired Tan Chin Hwee, the renowned founder of US$162bn hedge fund Apollo Global Management, to help lead its Asian operations.

Trafigura is the world’s second-largest metals and independent oil trader and has been looking to continue its advance in Asia Pacific. Bloomberg has reported that Tan’s appointment will signal a heightened pursuit of this strategy.

The move represents a continued tilt eastward by the commodity trading houses, some of which have been exiting some Swiss and UK-based business to enjoy tax benefits and arguably less regulatory scrutiny in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Trafigura closed its metals warehousing operations in China following the Qingdao scandal, with Impala having brought legal action against both Citi and Mercuria in the aftermath of the fraud case.

But it has ramped up its trading activity and the company will hope that Tan, who also is the former managing director of Amaranth Advisors, another hedge fund.

Trafigura actually bucked the trend of many traders in the first half of 2015, posting record period profits on the back of strong metals and oil trading, despite the slumps in both markets. Meanwhile, rivals such as Glencore – who have also diversified heavily into the mining sector – have been losing money hand over foot.