Panel on Commodities

Renee Haugerud
Managing Principal / CIO, Galtere Ltd.

Renee Haugerud is the Founder, Chief Investment Officer and Managing Principal of Galtere Ltd., a registered investment advisor that manages in excess of $1 billion across several commodity-focused products. Its flagship commodity-based global macro strategy draws upon an array of markets and instruments to express real-asset-driven themes, using fundamental analysis for portfolio composition and proprietary technical value zones for trade implementation.

Ms. Haugerud has been trading in the global financial and commodity markets since 1980. Throughout her career, Ms. Haugerud has acquired expertise across all asset classes, through posts in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Switzerland, Australia, and Hong Kong. She began her tenure in financial markets by trading cash commodity markets in the United States and Canada for Cargill Inc. and Continental Grain. Her interests in the relationship between financial markets and geopolitics led to her first international post in Geneva Switzerland, where she ultimately served as Cargill’s Foreign Exchange Trading Manager. During her thirteen year career at Cargill, Ms. Haugerud developed expertise in a broad and diverse range of securities by assuming the positions of Manager of the US Fixed Income trading desk, Minneapolis, MN; Financial Division Manager of the Melbourne Australia Office; board membership of Cargill Australia; and finally Vice President/Structural Trading Manager at Cargill’s corporate headquarters in Minneapolis, MN. Following her years at Cargill, Ms. Haugerud served as the Financial Trading Manager at Hunter Douglas N.A., New York. She also spent two years in Hong Kong with Natwest Markets Asian headquarters as the Head of Proprietary Trading for their Global Financial Markets.

Ms. Haugerud’s insight into how global markets are affected by the psychology and relationships of macroeconomic trends makes her a sought-after speaker and panelist at global investment events. Ms. Haugerud has been interviewed on CNBC, CNN and the PBS Nightly Business Report, and has also been profiled in Barron’s, eFinancial News, Forbes Magazine, ForbesLife Executive Woman, MAR Futures, Time and Trader Monthly. She is active in the community of women and business leaders, and an active advocate for numerous global education initiatives.

Oliver Hawkins
Co-CIO and Commodity Portfolio Manager

Prior to establishing Hawker Capital in 2007 Oliver managed a discretionary long short commodity allocation at Rubicon. Prior to Rubicon, he was a founding member of Partners Capital, a $6B global investment advisory firm based in London and Boston. Prior to Partners Capital Oliver worked as a consultant at Bain & Company. Oliver graduated from Magdalen College, Oxford University with a degree in Chemistry, has completed a NASA/SETI co sponsored research posting at the NASA AMES research facility in California, has published research on diode laser physics.

Christopher Nygaard
Managing Partner & Portfolio Manager -Agricultural Commodities


Chris Nygaard has spent his career in physical commodity and derivatives trading, risk systems modeling, and structured commodity finance. Prior to founding Vermillion in 2005, Chris was Managing Director and Portfolio Manager for Octagon Asset Management, LLC, where he invested in commodity inventory finance, trade finance and asset backed securities on a global basis. Before going to work at Octagon, Chris was a trader for hedge fund Deephaven Capital Management, LLC, then owned by the Arbitrade Group. At Deephaven, Chris coded and managed a long-short equity portfolio based on a proprietary trading model of the firm. Chris also was at trader and risk manager at the Arbitrade Group’s options market making arm, working in the equity index options area on the Chicago Board of Options Exchange and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Chris started his career at Cargill Inc., where he traded various agricultural and soft commodities world wide from 1991 through 1997. At Cargill, Chris traded both physical commodities and their related exchange-based and OTC derivatives. He both structured and utilized over-the-counter commodity derivative products, including the “Flex Hedge” contracts which he helped to develop. He also incorporated trade and structured finance techniques to increase profitability, capture market share, and mitigate credit and cross-border risks. Chris is a graduate of Northwestern University.

Jess Gaspar, Ph.D.
Managing Director, Commodities and Fixed Income
Commonfund Asset Management Company


Jess joined Commonfund in 2008. He shares responsibility for fund structure, portfolio research and analysis, due diligence and investment monitoring with a focus on commodities and fixed income. Jess came to Commonfund from Cornerstone Quantitative Investment Group, a systematic global macro fund investing in commodities, currencies and fixed income, where he served as Director of Research. Prior to Cornerstone, he was engaged as a consultant, predominantly in financial services, with McKinsey and Company in Chicago. Before joining the private sector, Jess was a professor at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business where he taught international economics and computational methods in economics and finance to MBAs and PhDs. Jess earned his undergraduate degree from MIT in 1990 and his doctorate in economics from Stanford in 1997. Recently, he coauthored Commodity Investing: Maximizing Returns Through Fundamental Analysis published by Wiley Finance in 2008.