Singaporean is Asia-Pac chief of Trafigura

Mr Tan is the first Asian to head the global commodity trader's Asia-Pacific business.
Mr Tan is the first Asian to head the global commodity trader's Asia-Pacific business.

Global commodity trader Trafigura Group has appointed Mr Tan Chin Hwee as its chief executive for Asia-Pacific.

This makes him the first Singaporean and Asian to be given such a senior position in the firm, the world's second-largest metals and independent oil trader.

Mr Tan brings two decades of experience in management and financial roles, most recently as the founder of the Asian operations of Apollo Global Management, a global alternative investor with more than US$185 billion (S$265 billion) in assets under management.

Before joining Apollo in 2007, he was a managing director at Amaranth Advisors, a US multi-strategy hedge fund responsible for identifying and evaluating public and private investment opportunities across the capital structure in Asia.

Mr Tan sits on various boards, including those of Singapore Press Holdings, Keppel Real Estate Investment Trust, Lien Aid and the KKH Health Endowment Fund.

Most recently, he was appointed to the board of trustees for Nanyang Technological University, concurrent with his appointment to the Monetary Authority of Singapore's Finance Centre Advisory Panel.

"Much as I had wanted to slow the tempo following an eventful career in investment management, the opportunity to be an integral part of a team who holds a pivotal position in a dynamic sector both in Singapore and globally was compelling," Mr Tan said in a statement yesterday.

His appointment to such a senior role at Trafigura reflects the commodity firm's major shift towards Asia. It has been in the midst of reorganising staff and operations, and recently quit the metals warehousing business in China.

Amid slowing growth in China, Trafigura has also been strengthening its ties with Russian oil producer Rosneft to handle more oil destined for Asia, Bloomberg reported late last year.

Trafigura CEO Jeremy Weir said in a statement yesterday: "We are delighted that Chin Hwee has accepted the role, bringing a wealth of experience which will be extremely valuable in driving our future growth across Asia-Pacific."

Yasmine Yahya

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2016, with the headline 'S'porean is Asia-Pac chief of Trafigura'. Print Edition | Subscribe