Being able to buy into several of Oklahoma's strongest companies in one fell swoop seemed like a good idea nearly two years ago, OOK Advisors Chairman Keith Geary said.
The investable index is even better now in a down economy, he said.
"We've had a lot of contact from investors and fund managers outside the state of Oklahoma who have been telling us, 'We really think that's a great idea. When are you going to bring that to market?'" said Geary, who is also chief executive officer of the Capital West Securities brokerage firm in Oklahoma City.
"They're looking at Oklahoma now and thinking, 'Wow, they've done OK,'" he said. "Things have worked out pretty well for our state as the national economy has staggered and is trying to find its legs. We look good in the spotlight. And I'm getting a sense from investors that, 'When the economy turns around, you guys ought to take off first.'"
OOK Advisors LLC on Thursday announced the launch of the Oklahoma Exchange-Traded Fund, an investment portfolio representing a benchmark index of about 30 publicly traded companies. The fund, which is the first in the country to be keyed to a state, trades under the OOK identifier on the New York Stock Exchange's Arca securities exchange.
At first glance, most of the companies seem to be based on a common theme - Helmerich & Payne Inc., SandRidge Energy Inc. and Chesapeake Energy, for example.
"It's not necessarily a straight energy play," Geary said. "We have more diversity than you might initially think, and it reflects Oklahoma's strengths."
The list also includes the likes of BOK Financial Corp., BancFirst Corp., Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Pre-Paid Legal Services Inc. and Sonic Corp.
The grouping is based on a modified market capitalization weighted index derived by Washington, D.C.-based SPADE Indexes. As of Sept. 30, the SPADE Oklahoma Index was comprised of 67.57 percent energy-sector businesses - including drilling, exploration, pipeline and petroleum - 13.58 percent utilities, 7. …