Founder differences are good for OKC
Oklahoma City's four largest publicly traded energy companies were created by founders with very different personalities. Their differences have created a diversified portfolio of Oklahoma City energy firms.
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McClendon and Ward have similar high-risk tolerances and a desire to make every dollar accomplish all that it can.
They seem unhappy with cash in the bank at low interest rates when those dollars could be borrowed at low cost and invested in higher potential — and often high risk — drilling projects.
One major difference between McClendon and Ward — and the companies they lead — is that McClendon is outgoing and energetic, a national spokesman for natural gas and for Oklahoma City.
Ward, however, is quieter with a humble persona, waiting patiently, expecting the dust to settle and for history to prove him right.
The differences among the four companies are good for Oklahoma City.
They are good for current and potential employees of all four companies. If things don't work out for an employee downtown, a better fit may be across town, or vice versa.
The differences are good for civic and charitable organizations because, while one company may choose to support one city project or one cause, another company may have a different focus.
The difference is good for city and state coffers because, while one company may be struggling, another may be growing.
Diversification is as important for a city as it is for a stock portfolio.
Oklahoma City holds about as broad a spread as you can find among independent oil and natural gas producers.