A privately owned, globally focused
investment group

Who We Are

GHK is a privately owned globally focused investment group with its roots in natural gas exploitation. The company has been at the forefront of science and exploration for more than 50 years. True to its history in clean energy, innovation and technology GHK maintains a portfolio of private equity and publicly traded investee companies. GHK’s trading division focuses principally upon commodities, precious metals and foreign exchange.

Robert A. Hefner III founded the company in 1959 to break away from the family’s long history in the “oil business” by focusing the original GHK partnership on the exploitation of America’s vast undeveloped significantly more environmentally benign natural gas. In 2012, GHK sold virtually all of its producing properties as part of Cordillera Energy Partners III sale to Apache Corporation (Nasdaq: APA) and transformed GHK into its present organization.

Our Investment Themes

Our mission is to search out private or public companies and entities in areas of our expertise and interests that are adding value by new breakthrough technologies and have passionate, creative management, excellent business plans and stable platforms for growth and acquire a significant equity position. Our technology holdings range from startup ventures in BioTech and AgTech to energy companies participating in the transition to clean energy. Because GHK operated as a partnership for much of its history, we like to think of our significant investees as partners and are available to add value in any way we can. 


Among the more notable investments are what we believe to be a revolutionary BioTech company finalizing a Phase III trial for personalized vaccines for one of the most lethal forms of cancer, glioblastoma, by using cells of the patients. We are also an early-stage investor in the first FDA approved therapy utilizing virtual reality.

Current Investees & Partners 

Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc. A leading BioTech Pioneer in the development of personalized immunotherapy vaccines for solid tumor cancers. As of October 5, 2020, NWBO locked down all data for its 331 patient, four country, 14-year long Phase III trial of its flagship vaccine, DCVax-L, for glioblastoma patients. More recently, the company acquired from Corning Incorporated a breakthrough new technology, Flaskworks, that NWBO believes will scale up the capacity and lower production costs of its vaccines. The build out of its UK manufacturing facility should be completed in the coming months. www.nwbio.com

PHX Minerals, Inc. A natural gas focused mineral and royalty company with a near-term strategy to grow its assets in the natural gas sector. The company believes that natural gas is the baseload bridge fuel to clean energy technologies and that demand for natural gas will continue to accelerate. GHK views PHX Minerals as a ninety-five year old financially sound corporate platform with excellent experienced and forward-looking new management that we believe will not only accelerate the company’s near-term growth but guide PHX Minerals in the participation of new energy technologies for America’s clean energy future. www.phxmin.com

Family Entities & Other Interests

Ramiiisol Vineyards grows natural, living and joyously drinkable wines in order to express the nuances of the territorium’s terroir and character of each vintage. www.ramiiisolvineyards.com

A non-profit organization that principally supports the causes the Hefners believe will help make the global community a better place, with focus upon mutually positive US/China relations. We also provide support for Education, Culture, Environment & Global Ecosystems and Clean Energy. www.hefnerfoundation.org

A collection of Chinese contemporary oil paintings expressing the passion and commitment to the long-standing tradition of great art that exploded and flourished following Deng Xiaoping’s reforms. The collection is a unique group of paintings principally collected directly from the artists during this explosion of creativity that expressed life in one of the world’s oldest civilizations during a period of rapid cultural change. www.hefnercollection.com

Robert A. Hefner III’s ground-breaking book www.the-get.com/book and documentary film www.the-get.com/documentary entitled The Grand Transition (The GET). The GET shows a clear direction forward from the industry’s inefficient, high carbon, environmentally destructive past, fueled by solids and liquids in the form of wood, coal and oil into a future of clean energy led by carbon light natural gas and accelerating toward the ultimate goal of a totally clean hydrogen dominated economy.

The Bradshaw Foundation directs its interests upon Homo sapiens’ original migration and colonization of the earth and humankinds’ earliest art and culture. The foundation funds preservation projects around the world, scientific research and publications often in collaboration with UNESCO and is a digital resource for new discoveries, documentation and preservation of rock art. Through our Rock Art Network in partnership with the Getty Conservation Institute, we bring together and provide a forum for rock art experts from around the world. www.bradshawfoundation.org

Robert A. Hefner III is an International Council Member of the Harvard University, Kennedy School, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. The center is a hub for research, teaching, and training in international security and diplomacy, environmental and resource issues, and science and technology policy. www.belfercenter.org

GHK Team

Robert A. Hefner III, Founding Owner and Managing Director

Robert, a geologist and geophysicist, is Sole-Owner and Managing Director of GHK. His early passion for earth science and environmental sustainability inspired his career in natural gas and clean energy. He and his original two partners created GHK in 1959 as a natural gas exploration and production company. He pioneered the necessary technological innovation for the successful exploitation of the world’s deepest and highest pressure natural gas production, setting a multitude of world records. In 2012, GHK sold virtually all its producing properties interests. Robert’s passion for new frontiers, technical background and natural curiosities for science, exploration and innovation, dominates GHK’s portfolio of investments. In recent years this includes his exploration and research into microbiology and sustainable natural biodynamic winegrowing at Ramiiisol Vineyards, Virginia’s leading producer of natural wines.

Robert is author of the ground-breaking book The Grand Energy Transition published in 2009 by John Wiley & Sons. It first forecast a Grand Transition in energy consumption from the industry’s inefficient, high carbon, environmentally destructive past, fueled by solids and liquids in the form of wood, coal and oil into a future of clean energy led by carbon light natural gas and accelerating toward the ultimate goal of a totally clean hydrogen dominated economy. A documentary film of the same title was released in 2012 followed by a Chinese translation of the book published by CITIC Press Corporation in 2013.

 

Robert is an active participant of the International Council at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, is Co-Founder and President of the Bradshaw Foundation, a Fellow of London’s Royal Geographical Society, former Board Member of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, a 2010 inductee into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and a 2017 Oklahoma Creativity Ambassador. Robert’s B.S. degree in Geology is from the University of Oklahoma.

MeiLi Hefner, President, Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation

MeiLi, Robert’s wife, is a close advisor to Robert. She is President of the Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation directing and overseeing its activities. The Foundation principally supports the causes the Hefners believe will help make the global community a better place, with a focus upon US/China relations as well as providing support for Education, Culture, Environment & Global Ecosystems and Clean Energy. Robert and MeiLi are active partners in overseeing the The Hefner Collection of Chinese contemporary oil paintings and all aspects of Ramiiisol Vineyards.

MeiLi was born in Singapore and has travelled and lived around the world for much of her life. Her professional career was in management and personal relationships with five-star international hotels. She also founded and was sole-owner of a successful business specializing in marketing, public relations and branding.

Wade KovashGeneral Manager 

Wade serves as General Manager for the GHK Companies and is President of The GHK Company, LLC. He is also General Counsel for the GHK group and a Director of the Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation. Wade has extensive experience in energy, multiple business transactions and new ventures. He holds a B.S. degree in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma, a Juris Doctor from Oklahoma City University School of Law and holds an M.B.A. from Oxford University Said Business School. Prior to joining GHK in 2011 Wade was with EOG Resources, Inc.

James C. BrewerDirector

Jim joined GHK in 1980 as Data Processing Manager. He became Controller in 1992, Manager of Special Projects in 2005 and General Manager in 2010. Jim is now part-time and remains a trusted advisor overseeing various company and family interests as well as supervising our data processing. Jim attended both Northern Oklahoma College and Oklahoma State University. He began his career at Conoco in the development of computer operations managing several data processing and accounting departments. Following his work at Conoco, he became supervisor of programming for Texas International Petroleum before joining GHK.

Jody SymonsChief Financial Officer, London Office

Jody serves as Chief Financial Officer for the group of companies and is Treasurer of the Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation. He has extensive international experience in finance and investment transactions. Jody holds a B.S. degree in Banking and Finance from Cardiff University and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. He began his career with PwC in Audit and Transaction Services advising on large complex transactions across Europe.  Subsequently, Jody has held senior positions at two large single family offices with Unifund in Geneva, Switzerland and Clermont Group, Singapore.

Metra Taleghanifard, Executive Assistant and Manager of the Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation and The Hefner Collection

Metra joined GHK in 2007 working in executive administration. She presently serves on The Board of the Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation. Metra also manages The Hefner Collection of Chinese contemporary oil paintings. Her other responsibilities include human resources, company websites and the role of Executive Assistant to Mr. and Mrs. Hefner for special projects. Metra holds a B.S. degree in Biology and a M.A. degree in Gerontology from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Charlie ShivelyController

Charlie joined GHK in 2019 as Controller and head of the accounting department. His responsibilities include accounting records, federal, state and private filings and preparation of financial statements. He has over 25 years of private industry Controller experience, primarily in the manufacturing sector. Charlie holds a B.A. in Business Administration with emphasis in Accounting from San Diego State University.

Steve Lilly, Principal Trader

Steve began his career as a bond trader at the Chicago Board of Trade. He then focused upon energy commodities for the next 30 years working with Costal Corporation, Shell Energy Trading and Bank of Oklahoma. He first worked with GHK in 1985 until 1989 and remained a trading advisor to Robert Hefner until 2017 when he rejoined GHK to open its trading division. Steve has previously held positions on the New York Mercantile Exchange in natural gas options and arbitration committees and is currently on the advisory board of the Michael F. Price College of Business to The University of Oklahoma and participates in the William M. Majors Energy Mentors Program. Steve graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in Business Administration, emphasis in Finance.

Publications

Contacts

US Office

GHK Companies

6305 Waterford Boulevard, Suite 470

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73118 USA

+1 405.858.9800

contact@ghkco.com

UK Office
Jody Symons

5 Albany Courtyard
London, W1J 0HF UK
+44 (0) 7793.563564

jj.symons@ghkco.com 

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