For Sal Gilbertie
, the road to the New York Stock Exchange took 51 weeks and a seven-figure amount.
"And my hair turned gray," quipped Gilbertie, co-founder
of Teucrium Trading
, a Brattleboro, Vermont-based firm which rolled out the Teucrium Corn Fund
(CORN) on the NYSE Arca last month and is now preparing to launch five more ETFs.
The journey began last year when Gilbertie, who has clocked
nearly three decades as a commodities and derivatives trader and most recently worked at Newedge USA, came up with the idea of rolling out a corn ETF.
"I was shocked that no one had a corn ETF," he said in an interview. On the other hand, Gilbertie
noted that the "barriers to entry are significant."
Teucrium officials pitch the fund as the first domestic vehicle available to institutional and individual
investors seeking pure exposure to corn without having to open a futures
account. The ETF comes with an expense ratio of 100 basis points. Gilbertie sees the product
as having broad appeal with asset allocators and RIAs.
Gilbertie, who played a key role in creating the OTC financial market for
ethanol and ethanol swaps used today on the Chicago Board of Trade, started
Teucrium with Dale Riker
, president of Cambial
Emerging Markets LLC. Named after an herb, Teucrium Trading officially came into existence on
July 28, 2009.
Teucrium hired law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP
Bank of New York Mellon
to serve as custodian, transfer agent and administrator.
For distribution services, it turned to ALPS Distributors
. (ALPS Distributors
president Tom Carter
and Foreside president Rich Berthy
met for the
first time when Teucrium Trading rang the opening
bell at the New York Stock Exchange last month.)
Why two distributors? "Two is always better than one," Gilbertie said.
Teucrium also recently hired communications specialist WT Blase and Associates
On September 11, 2009, the Teucrium Commodity Trust was organized and 10 days
later, Teucrium filed an
with the SEC to launch the Corn Fund.
In the ensuing months, Teucrium worked to overcome regulatory hurdles that come with putting a commodities product on a securities
The registration became effective on June 7 and two days later, the fund launched
on the NYSE Arca.
On July 12, Teucrium officials and representatives from service providers
trooped to the New York Stock Exchange for the bell ringing ceremony. Carl Miller
a founding shareholder and principal of Teucrium, did the honors.
Teucrium is now preparing to expand its product lineup. On June 17, it filed to
launch five more ETFs: the
Teucrium Sugar Fund
Natural Gas Fund
WTI Crude Oil Fund
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