Russell Kalmacoff, President
Russell Kalmacoff is a financial executive and capital markets generalist and he is President and Chief Executive Officer of Rockmount Financial Corporation. Rockmount's main activities include management of a portfolio of global equities, developing an industrial research park, promoting interest in downstream (clean-tech) and financial services (fin-tech), consulting on public policy, and supporting academia in curriculum development.
Mr. Kalmacoff acquired Rockmount Financial Corporation (formerly Security Home Financing Limited) in 1975 and has operated it and its related entities for over 40 years.
From 1976 to 1996 the Security Home / Rockmount Group of companies originated, funded, serviced, syndicated, and securitized hundreds of millions of dollars worth of mortgages across Canada. It was a pioneer in originating and issuing NHA mortgage backed securities. From 1988 to 1996, Mr. Kalmacoff was Chairman and CEO of Security Home Mortgage Corporation, a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
In 1980, as principal landowner, Mr. Kalmacoff was responsible for negotiating a unique ground lease under the Suncor Tower, which was part of the development of Sunlife Plaza in downtown Calgary.
Since 2000, in addition to leading the Rockmount Group of companies, he has been Chairman and CEO of the family businesses, Hub Oil Company Ltd. and Kalmacoff Holdings Limited. Mr. Kalmacoff has been involved in various family businesses since childhood that began with his grandfather Jake Sr. and his father Jake Jr., and that continue today with his extended family of siblings, nieces and nephews.
Over the past decade he has been active in community development in Calgary along International Avenue (17th Avenue SE), working closely with the Business Revitalization Zone. He has also served as a Director of the International Avenue Arts and Culture Centre. Rockmount is a member of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). Rockmount has served the City of Calgary, the Province of Alberta and the Federal Government in several capacities, including the development of brownfield policy.
Mr. Kalmacoff is also a member of San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Associates (SPUR), part of his broader continuing connection to the Bay Area which includes Silicon Valley.
After completing his studies in 1966, Mr. Kalmacoff worked on Wall Street with Salomon Brothers as a securities trainee on the trading floor. Shortly after that he was at the Toronto head office of AE LePage, Canada’s largest realtor, in the mortgage department. While there he designed a financing model involving land purchase leasebacks and NHA insured leasehold mortgages with participating rent, in addition to interest payable to institutional investors.
The following year he returned to Calgary as Manager of Land Development for NuWest Homes, which included responsibility for what eventually became the 450-acre Canyon Meadows community. He also built housing in Canyon Meadows as a principal, and for Paragon Homes in Penbrooke Meadows.
In 1971, Mr. Kalmacoff was hired by Nesbitt Thomson Securities in Montreal and Toronto as the real estate specialist in investment banking. At Nesbitt he assisted the Government of Canada in the drafting of the Residential Mortgage Financing Act. He was responsible for one of the first real estate investment trusts in Canada and the first publicly traded mortgage investment corporation. While at Nesbitt he wrote The Canadian Mortgage Market, a text used by the Investment Dealers Association in the Canadian Securities Course for over 20 years.
Mr. Kalmacoff has always been active in public policy development and execution in broadening Alberta’s economic base. He served on the Value-Added and Technology Commercialization Task Force, a seven-member committee set up by the Government of Alberta. The Task Force proposed the 100 million-dollar Alberta Enterprise Corporation for which Mr. Kalmacoff prepared an implementation plan. In 2010, Mr. Kalmacoff served on the Nominating Committee for the Premier’s Economic Strategy Council. He also participated in the Alberta Government`s Results Based Budgeting Challenge Panel in 2012-2013.
In 2014, Mr. Kalmacoff became a Director of the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. FCPP is Prairie-based, independent Canadian public policy think tank. In this capacity, Mr. Kalmacoff is interested in regional capital markets and their impact on the economic base of the Prairie Provinces.
Mr. Kalmacoff began his post-secondary education in 1960 at the University of Calgary, completing first year engineering, then transferring to the University of Manitoba, receiving a Bachelor of Commerce and where he established a chapter of the International Association of Students in Economic and Commerce (AIESEC). He then received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of California, Berkeley in 1965.
While at Berkeley, Mr. Kalmacoff was a research assistant at the Centre for Real Estate and Urban Economics and received a research grant from the Institute for Urban and Regional Studies. Upon completing his MBA, he was awarded the Senior Fellowship of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation which allowed him to pursue post- graduate studies at Berkeley and at New York University (1965-66).
Mr. Kalmacoff has remained active and involved with various academic institutions. In the early 2000s, at UC Berkeley, Mr. Kalmacoff chaired a campaign that established a Professorship of Canadian Studies. During that period, he founded the UC Berkeley Alumni Club of Canada and joined the Canadian Studies Advisory Board. In 2006, he organized an Alberta California Energy Conference at Berkeley. In 2012 he sponsored the Dean of the Business School at the University of Manitoba to speak at Berkeley on how Canada avoided the sub-prime meltdown
In 2014, Mr. Kalmacoff became a member of the International Advisory Council (US) for the University of Calgary. Mr. Kalmacoff is also on the Advisory Board of the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies at the University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business.
In 2017, he joined the four-member Advisory Board of the Clausen Center, which resides jointly in the Department of Economics and Haas School of Business at Berkeley. The Center was endowed by Tom Clausen, President of the World Bank to facilitate constructive interaction among macro economists and central bankers.
In 2018, Athabasca University, Canada's largest open, on-line, distance learning institution, appointed Mr. Kalmacoff to the position of Executive in Residence. He is also a member of their Business Leadership Advisory Council of the Faculty of Business.