Oil Trading 'God' Andrew Hall Makes a Home in Vermont

A $100 million trader makes organic soap, wildflower honey, and a few enemies
Illustration by Kondo Yuko

Andrew Hall is an oil trader who’s made about $100 million in a single year. Now he has another pursuit: selling handmade lavender soap and grass-fed Angus beef sourced from his farm in Reading, Vt. Hall, 62, chief executive officer of Phibro, now the commodity-trading unit of Occidental Petroleum, has bought more than 2,400 acres in Reading, according to local real estate records. He has torn down at least a half-dozen homes in the central Vermont town (pop. 666) and last year opened an appointment-only art museum in buildings that once housed a dairy farm. “Look at the rest of the world—it’s going to hell in a wheelbarrow, and he’s trying to keep a little section of Vermont the way it was,” says John Mitchell, a neighbor and former town auditor.

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