Spider’s stock rises

January 16, 2023


As 2022 wound down, things were looking up for 1997 grad Katie Stockton, who experienced an iconic moment in the life of a business leader. Stockton appeared at the New York Stock Exchange to ring the closing bell, marking the listing of the fund she manages, Fairlead Tactical Sector ETF (TACK), created by the company she founded, Fairlead Strategies.

Stockton, a frequent CNBC contributor, was joined by five fellow Spiders, including two members of her firm and two alums from a Richmond firm that helped bring the fund to market. She explained how the occasion marked a milestone in this Robins School grad’s career.

When you were a student, did you ever think you’d be ringing the closing bell at the Stock Exchange? 

When I studied finance at UR, I was fascinated by all things related to the stock market, but I never could’ve imagined ringing the closing bell, something that seemed limited to C-suite execs. The more I learned about the Exchange, the more I realized that it’s all about opportunity, and not just for huge corporations. It’s funny I had two earlier opportunities to stand at the podium with non-profit organizations, but the first time I got stuck in the subway (torture!) and the second time I tested positive for COVID in my failed attempt to meet the entry requirements. So, even the same day that we were scheduled, I was a little worried I wouldn’t make it to the podium!

How did studying at UR influence your career path?

My career was essentially pre-determined by my experience at UR. The undergraduate business program opened my mind to what kind of careers were out there, and the education and mentorship that I received primarily from my adviser helped me realize my passion for the discipline of technical analysis. I was enlightened about the unique approach to markets through my first internship, which then launched me into another more focused internship, which then helped place me in my first job out of school. UR happened to be one of only 12 universities at the time that offered coursework in technical analysis, a testament to the breadth of the academic offerings, and I found the class inspirational because they brought in guest lecturers who were big-time practitioners on Wall Street.

What does this moment mean to you? 

I’m so proud of my team, which includes two UR grads — including my sister —and so grateful for our partnership with UR alums from local firm Cary Street Partners. They were all instrumental in bringing TACK to market, and to its subsequent growth. To be able to celebrate the ETF’s success with everyone in such a historic venue was pretty much the pinnacle of my career.


Photo: New York Stock Exchange