Rismark International (“Rismark”) is a global funds management and advisory business that has expertise in the execution of sophisticated real estate research and investment strategies. Rismark?s business model is based on a “strategic partnership” approach. In 2010, the Macquarie Funds Group acquired a 53 per cent stake in Rismark to assist with the further institutionalisation of the business. Rismark’s investment portfolios offer attractive risk-adjusted returns and outperformed the Mercer Unlisted Property Funds Index, bank bills, the S&P/ASX Property 300 Index, Australian and international shares, and the underlying housing market during the global financial crisis. Rismark has a long history of advising Australian and overseas governments on the development of innovative economic policies as they relate to housing and financial markets. In 2009, the Rockefeller and MacArthur Foundations invited Rismark’s management to present innovative policy solutions to America’s housing market woes to the Obama Administration.
Rismark’s main commercial focuses are: (1) helping households deleverage their balance-sheets by using less debt and more equity while opening up the residential property asset-class for institutional investors; (2) assisting individual and institutional investors to hedge the risk of house price shocks through the development of exchange-traded financial products that enable them to swap this risk with other parties that are willing to assume it; and (3) materially improving the quality of information and analytics available on the world’s biggest yet one of the least understood asset-classes – residential housing – via a range of sophisticated indices, valuation models, and forecasting products.
As a by-product of its quantitative research activities, Rismark has developed the technology and intellectual property underlying the market-leading RP Data-Rismark hedonic property price indices and related automated property valuation models (AVMs), amongst other things. In September 2008 the Australian Stock Exchange (“ASX”) selected the RP Data-Rismark hedonic indices as the benchmark indices for the ASX’s new residential property derivatives market, which is expected to be launched in late 2010.
In 2009, Rismark was awarded the Australian Business Award for Innovation. In February 2008 and 2009 the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) presented Rismark with the “Non-Bank Lender or Mortgage Manager of the Year” award at the MFAA’s annual Excellence Awards. In December 2007 Australian Banking & Finance Magazine selected Rismark as Australia’s “Best Financial Start-Up in 2007”.
In March 2007 Rismark launched via Adelaide Bank the first “shared equity mortgage” to ever be made available by a private lender in Australia’s history.
Rismark’s revolutionary Equity Finance Mortgage® (“EFM”) has received wide industry acclaim. Your Mortgage Magazine selected the EFM as “Best New Product of the Year in 2007” while Money Magazine selected it as “Best New Product of the Year in 2008”. Leading consumer information company InfoChoice has described the EFM as “the most innovative lending product in 15 years”. For more detail on EFMs please visit the website www.efm.info
Rismark’s business model is built on a strategic ‘partnership’ approach to its third-party relationships. In this regard, Rismark has executed several exclusive strategic agreements with leading Australian and global financial services companies, including the Macquarie Funds Group, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank Limited, QBE Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance Limited and the LJCB Investment Group.
In 2010, the Macquarie Funds Group acquired a 53 per cent stake in Rismark for an undisclosed sum in addition to agreeing to make a co-investment commitment to Rismark’s managed investment vehicles.
Key members of the Rismark team include Christopher Joye (Managing Director), Ben Skilbeck (Executive Director, Capital Markets), Dr Matthew Hardman (Head of Portfolio Management & Research), Dr Alun Pope (Head of Research (Applied)), Harri Rossi (General Manager of Mortgage Markets), Dr Vito Mollica (Portfolio Manager), Dr Tony Vasallo (Research Manager) and Damien Everest (Operations Manager). The Rismark team is supported by several Macquarie Funds Group executives including Peter Lucas, Gervaise Heddle and John Janik. For more information on Rismark’s management please refer to the Investment Team section. You can also read Christopher Joye’s economics and finance blog here.
Rismark has recently launched an innovative suite of advanced residential real estate investment funds. These vehicles are an important development in the asset management world and provide institutions with high growth, low volatility and well-diversified exposures to the residential real estate asset-class. Rismark International Funds Management Limited (“RIFM”) is the Manager of all of Rismark’s investment funds.
Rismark’s commercial aim is to be the most disciplined and successful investor in what is the world’s largest, albeit untapped, asset class: residential real estate. In Australia alone, this represents an A$3.5 trillion investment category, which historically has not been accessible on a well-diversified, cost-effective, or scalable basis.
The name “Rismark” is a trade mark of Rismark International. It derives from the unique conjunction of the words “risk” and “markets”.
Rismark’s products are protected by a large portfolio of Australian and overseas patents. For more information, please refer to Intellectual Property.