Commodity Focused Boutique

SummerHaven was founded in 2009 as a commodity-focused asset management firm. The firm was built on the long and deep prior experience of our team in the asset class. Since then SummerHaven has expanded into alternative investments in the form of Private Equity replication strategy and Volatility strategies.


Kurt Nelson

Managing Partner

Kurt is a Founding Partner of SummerHaven and serves as Managing Partner. Previously, he was Head of the Commodity Index business at UBS Investment Bank. He was a member of the Supervisory Committee for both the DJ-UBS Commodity Index (now known as the Bloomberg Commodity Index) and the UBS Bloomberg CMCI Index. Kurt was also responsible for launching the UBS Exchange-traded note platform (E-TRACS). Prior to UBS, Kurt created and managed the high net worth business for AIG Financial Products, and he also provided equity derivative and commodity index solutions for US corporations, institutional investors and principal dealers.

Kurt served in U.S. Navy Intelligence from 1988-1992, and he received his B.S. in Mathematics from the College of William and Mary.

Geert Rouwenhorst

Head of Research 

Geert is a Founding Partner of SummerHaven. He is also Deputy Dean for Curriculum Development, Robert B. and Candace J. Haas Professor of Corporate Finance at the Yale School of Management and the Deputy Director of the International Center for Finance at Yale. Geert was a consultant on commodities products for AIG Financial Products for over 5 years, where he was actively involved in educating clients on his research.

Geert received his MS in Economics and BA in Law from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands and also earned a M.S. in Economics and Ph.D in Business Administration from the University of Rochester.

Jake DeSantis

Portfolio Management

Jake is a senior member of SummerHaven’s trading team and was a day-one investor in SummerHaven. Previously he was Head of Global Commodities at AIG Financial Products, with oversight of a book of over $25 billion in commodity futures, and which encompassed diversified index and custom strategy swaps, structured finance of metals and grains, and structured energy investment hedging. He represented AIG-FP on the Market Risk Committee of Tenaska Marketing Ventures, a US natural gas storage and transportation trading concern. He also ran Global Equity Derivatives trading at AIG-FP and served on AIG-FP’s Executive Steering Committee. Prior to this he ran US Equity Derivatives Trading at UBS.

Jake began his trading career on the floors of the AMEX and CBOE as an options market-maker with O’Connor & Associates. He earned a BS and MS in Materials Science and Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and researched low-temperature deposition processes at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.