Gary Brocklesby was already a young talent in Glencore’s tanker chartering unit when Nicolas Busch joined the trading giant in 2000 and took over the derivatives desk.

A fast-growing partnership in the physical and paper-trading disciplines led the two to set out on their own — first founding freight trader FR8 in 2003 and then Navig8 in 2007.

In little more than a decade, the partners have built the world’s largest independent commercial management and pooling business, raised $1.5bn in capital markets and bought or sold more than 70 vessels.