Jefferies teaming up with ALPS Advisors to enter into the exchange traded fund (ETF) marketplace is just the beginning of what appear to be big plans for the provider. Jefferies is a major global securities and investment banking group in the United States, Europe and Asia. It says a lot about the fast growth and popularity of the ETF industry, then, that the nearly 50-year-old firm decided to throw its hat in the ring with a focus on commodity ETFs.

ALPS Advisors and Jefferies kicked things off in September with the first ETF, with a twist: instead of holding futures or physical commodities, the fund holds equities:

  • Jefferies|TR/J CRB Global Commodity Equity Index Fund (NYSEArca: CRBQ)

Satch Chada, Jefferies’ Managing Director and Head of the Investor Solutions Group, says that “The introduction of these ETFs is notable on a number of levels. Not only is it the first investable equity product for the CRB, it’s also the first in a series of commodity-related funds based on these new equity indices, and the first ETF under the Jefferies brand”

Immediately following the launch of the first ETF, on October 27, 2009, ALPS and Jefferies launched

  • Jefferies|TR/J CRB Global Industrial Metals Equity Index Fund (NYSEArca: CRBI)
  • Jefferies|TR/J CRB Global Agriculture Equity Index Fund (NYSEArca: CRBA)

CRBI tracks companies that produce and distribute metals such as copper, aluminum, iron ore and steel. CRBA tracks producers of fertilizers, farming equipment, irrigation, agricultural products, livestock and aquaculture.