Long an energy hub, Tulsa is a financial industry leader, too

Source: Tulsa World


Tulsa’s economy is known for the oil and gas industry and the manufacturing that comes with it.

However, it’s also something of a financial hub with successful financial companies ranging from big banks to small wealth management firms.

The city’s burgeoning financial industry includes a budding accounting workforce.

When Illinois-based Ingredion announced in the fall of 2017 that it planned to hire 60 accountants, it was another victory for a sector that’s becoming a big part of the Tulsa economy.

“It’s very impressive that a Fortune 500 company can come into Tulsa and find the people we want to hire that fit our culture and have the right education background,” Jim Gray, Ingredion chief financial officer, said in January.

“We are really pleased with the market for experienced accountants and people interested in a finance career.”

New entrants to the community aside, Tulsa is also home to the largest bank holding company in the state and the largest by deposits, BOK Financial.

The Tulsa-based parent company of Bank of Oklahoma has thousands of employees in the metro area. And if BOK Financial makes revenue off out-of-state operations, that revenue trickles back to Tulsa.

Having the state’s largest bank headquartered in the state isn’t all that common in today’s economy.

Of the five full states in the Kansas City Federal Reserve District, to which Oklahoma belongs, only Oklahoma and Nebraska have their largest banks headquartered in state.

BOK Financial has seen earnings continue to grow in recent quarters as the Federal Reserve Board has raised interest rates and the energy market has recovered.

“While we benefited from a healthy interest rate environment, the key to earnings leverage was maintaining expense discipline throughout the year. In addition, the benign credit environment combined with our strong underwriting minimized credit costs during the year,” CEO Steve Bradshaw said in a statement when BOKF announced its earnings for 2017 in January.

Not all of Tulsa’s banks are big. The city is a haven for small banks, too.

One of the big benefits of doing business in Tulsa is the low cost of doing business, said Regent Bank CEO Sean Kouplen.

He said the bank feels like the city has a tremendous amount of momentum given the influx of development it’s seeing downtown.

Kouplen said Regent has decided to expand in Tulsa and will add 20 new jobs this calendar year, adding to an employee base of 85 that’s doubled since the bank was purchased in 2008.

“They’re (Tulsans are) hardworking, honest people, entrepreneurial. We just click with this community. That’s why we’ve made it our home and chose it as our community,” Kouplen said.

Source :

Tulsa World

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