Capital West becomes Geary Securities

Published: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 7:00 am

The Journal Record

OKLAHOMA CITY - Capital West Securities took up its new identity as Geary Securities on Monday, company President Keith Geary said.

The change, which coincided with Oklahoma's statehood day, was marked with an open house at the company's downtown Oklahoma City headquarters.

Two years ago, Geary and his wife, Joni, bought Capital West for $5 million cash by acquiring 100 percent of the holding company from majority owner Bob McDonald and other shareholders. Now the company, with 35 employees, managers more than 5,000 accounts that total almost $1 billion in assets.

Geary said that when the company recently announced its OOK Exchange Traded Fund, or ETF, that focused on publicly traded Oklahoma companies, it was placed under OOK Advisors as part of Capital West. But once the company offered a similar investment vehicle based on Texas companies - with a big cap and a small cap option - it made more sense to include them all under one umbrella name. And as long as OOK Advisors was being changed to Geary Advisors, he decided to sweep the board with Geary Securities, too.

The timing of the name change was influenced by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Geary said. He wanted to reveal the name earlier, but the process of releasing the Oklahoma ETF on Oct. 29 was already under way.

As for the possibility of designing more ETFs in other states, Geary said it was unlikely. Bundling companies only because they're based in a particular state would only produce novelty value, not true profit potential.

"I challenged my summer interns to build an ETF backed up with good back-test data to perform better than the S&P 500," he said. "And they came up with the same conclusion: You just can't do it. Oklahoma and Texas are kind of unique that way."

According to Geary's data, if the OOK index had been available in 2000, it would have outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 each year by an overall annual average of 21 percent.

Geary expects more changes, but that's only because of the nature of the market now, he said.

"Two years ago, when we acquired the firm, I wasn't thinking about ETFs," he said. "Then about six months ago, the idea came up to re-securitize mortgages that had been downgraded and had collateral enhancement.

"So it seems as if there's enough dislocation in the market still that if you see and understand something, there's a window of opportunity to jump through. So I think I'll probably see one or two other things in the next year of two that we'll develop also."

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