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ETF Creativity Flourishes - in Oklahoma


Innovation is the name of the game for Keith Geary, CEO, president and chairman of Capital West Securities, a small, 13-year-old Oklahoma City-based broker/dealer. The firm recently registered its new investment advisory arm OOK Advisors and last week filed to offer the Capital West Oklahoma Index Fund, the first ETF to invest exclusively in publicly-traded companies headquartered in Oklahoma. The ETF is expected to begin trading on the American Stock Exchange in April.

It began last Thanksgiving, when Geary started a promotion encouraging local residents to buy Oklahoma stocks as holiday gifts and offered fee-waived brokerage accounts. What followed were 300 brand new accounts and Capital West issuing 1,100 gift certificates for stock purchases. When gift certificate recipients expressed interest in buying more than one Oklahoma stock in an efficient way, Geary's idea of an all-Oklahoma equity ETF was born.

Not only have investors expressed interest, but local foundations are flocking to the idea, Geary said. He expects the Oklahoma ETF to raise $100 million in its debut week.

"We are trying to openly promote Oklahoma," Geary said. "Maybe it will help Oklahoma companies and maybe help the state, too." What's more, Geary will donate 10% of the ETF's management fees to Aaron's Bridge, a charity he and his wife started to help Oklahoma children with medical and educational needs.

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