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. 

Current Investees & Partners 

Our most notable investment as of May 2022 is a revolutionary BioTech company that we believe has just accomplished a major breakthrough in cancer with its personalized immunotherapy vaccines.

International Brain Tumour Awareness Week (28 October - 4 November)

Brain Tumour Awareness WeekInternational Brain Tumour Awareness Week is held from 28 October to 4 November 2023. It aims to raise awareness of the challenges of a brain tumour diagnosis and the need for increased research efforts.


We hear from Professor Keyoumars Ashkan, Professor of Neurosurgery and Lead Clinician for Neuro-Oncology and Dr Ahmad Kamaludin, Clinical Research Fellow Neuro-Oncology, about ongoing research studies that can help with brain tumour diagnosis and treatment.


NHS Article:


Northwest announces that their production facility in Sawston, UK has been approved for an MIA license by the MHRA for the commercial manufacture of cell therapy products.

Press Release on March 20, 2023

One of the First UK Licenses for Commercial Manufacturing of Cell Therapy Products; Allows Global Delivery of the Products


BETHESDA, MD, March 20, 2023 – Northwest Biotherapeutics (OTCQB: NWBO) (“NW Bio”), a biotechnology company developing DCVax® personalized immune therapies for solid tumor cancers, and Advent BioServices, a leading contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) based in the UK, jointly announce that a MIA license has been approved and issued by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for commercial manufacturing of cell therapy products at the GMP facility in Sawston, U.K.


This MIA is one of the first licenses for commercial manufacturing of cell therapy products in the U.K. To the companies’ knowledge, there are only two other such licenses, one of which was just granted as well.


This license is the culmination of more than 3 years’ work, including development of the facility, the teams of specialized personnel, the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and systems, well over 1,650 regulatory documents, and a successful operating history under the initial manufacturing licenses previously obtained to produce cell therapies in the Sawston facility for clinical trials and compassionate use. All of this work was carried out by Advent BioServices under contract with NW Bio.


Under this commercial manufacturing license, cell therapy products manufactured in the Sawston facility may be exported globally. Products (e.g., immune cells) may also be imported into the U.K. for production or release of cell therapy products under the facility’s licenses.


Linda Powers, CEO of NW Bio, commented “We are very excited to reach this major milestone, as it is an essential step towards submission of our application for regulatory approval of our lead product, DCVax®-L. It is especially exciting to be able to operate globally from this base in the U.K.”


Dr. Mike Scott, President of Advent BioServices, commented “It is always challenging to be one of the trailblazers. The field of personalised cell-based immunotherapy is rapidly evolving and we are collectively navigating our way through the regulatory landscape. We are therefore thrilled that the extensive preparatory work undertaken by our skilled and dedicated team has met the extremely high standards set for this commercial level of manufacturing license.”

January 6, 2023 – News Conference video shows headway for DCVax-L to become FDA approved and how the personalized vaccine has given hope for cancer patients.


November 17, 2022 peer-reviewed Journal of American Medicine Association article co-authored by over 70 leading neurooncologists confirms our long-held belief that DCVax-L will soon be approved by the FDA and other world regulatory bodies to become standard of care in the industry.

The number of patients alive 5 years post-surgery who were treated with DCVax-L were more than double the number of patients who only received the standard of care – chemo and radiation, for both newly diagnosed GBM and recurrent GBM. The Company believes this is the first time in nearly 20 years that a Phase III trial has shown such survival extension in newly diagnosed glioblastoma, and the first time in nearly 30 years that a Phase III trial of any type of treatment has shown such survival extension in recurrent glioblastoma.

Our phase III trial and the peer-reviewed JAMA article comprises ample evidence for DCVax-L regulatory approval. Further studies will soon be underway, including some in combination with other FDA approved therapies, but most important we believe this personalized DCVax-L vaccine will become the platform for the development of immunotherapy for all solid tumor cancers, which are over 80% of all cancers.

Video Presentation June 4, 2022 by Dr. Keyoumars Ashkan on the Results of NWBO’s DCVax-L Phase III Trial

Journal Online:

NWBO Press Release:

Guardian article:

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 Energy 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 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, Co-Chairman, Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation

MeiLi, Robert’s wife, is a close advisor to Robert. She is Co-Chairman 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 founded and was sole-owner of a successful business specializing in marketing, public relations and branding.

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.

Metra Taleghanifard, Manager, The Hefner Collection

Metra joined GHK in 2007 working in executive administration. Metra  manages The Hefner Collection of Chinese contemporary oil paintings. 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 of 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.


The Texas Energy Disaster
by Robert A. Hefner III, published March 18, 2021

The United States of Gas: Why the Shale Revolution Could Have Happened Only in America
by Robert A. Hefner III, published by Foreign Affairs Magazine, May/June, 2014


US Office 

GHK Companies

6305 Waterford Boulevard, Suite 470

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73118 USA

+1 405.858.9800


UK Office 
Cosmos Family Office Limited

5 Albany Courtyard
London, W1J 0HF UK