Russell Kalmacoff, President
Russell J. Kalmacoff is a financial executive and capital markets generalist. He is Chief Executive Officer of Rockmount Financial Corporation, a company he has owned for over forty years, which manages a family office on behalf of siblings and other relatives totalling twenty members. 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 in the innovation system, and supporting academia in curriculum development.
Saskatchewan Roots 1941 – 1957
Russell Kalmacoff was born in Kamsack, Saskatchewan on May 7th, 1941. He attended Victoria School and Kamsack Collegiate Institute there. Active in the Boy Scouts, he was Troop Leader and at 13 years old was awarded the Queen’s Scout by Governor General Vincent Massey. On weekends and summers he worked as a laboratory technician at a local oil refinery. In 1957, his family moved to Winnipeg and then Calgary, where at 18 he graduated from Viscount Bennett High School.
University 1959 – 1966
Mr. Kalmacoff began his post-secondary education at the University of Calgary, completing first year engineering in 1960, then transferring to the University of Manitoba, receiving a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) in 1964, followed by a Master of Business Administration (Finance) at the University of California, Berkeley in 1965.
At Manitoba, he established a chapter of the International Association of Students in Economic and Commerce (AIESEC).
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 study at Berkeley and New York University during 1965-66. Mr. Kalmacoff also did papers in gasoline marketing and competition law at Manitoba and Berkeley.
Early Career 1966 – 1976
During 1966, he also worked on Wall Street with Salomon Brothers as a securities trainee on the trading floor. In 1967-68 he was employed at Toronto head office of AE LePage, Canada’s largest realtor. In the mortgage department he designed a financing model involving land purchase lease-backs 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, 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.
Self Employment 1977 – 1999
Mr. Kalmacoff acquired Rockmount Financial Corporation (formerly Security Home Financing Limited) in 1975 and has operated it and related companies continuously to the present. In 1980, as principal landowner, Mr. Kalmacoff was responsible for negotiating a unique ground lease under the Suncor Tower, part of the development of Sun Life Plaza in downtown Calgary.
During the period 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 Security Home Mortgage Corporation, of which Mr. Kalmacoff was Chairman and CEO, was a public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Since 2000, in addition to leading the Rockmount Group, he has been Chairman and CEO of family businesses, Hub Oil Company Ltd. and Kalmacoff Holdings Limited. From childhood to present Mr. Kalmacoff has been involved in various family businesses, beginning with his grandfather Jake Sr. and his father Jake Jr. and continuing with current activities involving his extended family. He emphasizes family business values with employees, children, nieces and nephews.
At UC Berkeley, in the 2000s, 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 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. The Center was endowed by Tom Clausen, President of the World Bank to facilitate constructive interaction among macro economists and central bankers.
In 2014 Mr. Kalmacoff became a member of the International Advisory Council (US) for the University of Calgary. Mr. Kalmacoff also is on the Advisory Board of the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies at the University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business.
At Athabasca University, Canada's largest open, on-line distance learning institution, Mr. Kalmacoff is a member of the Business Leadership Advisory Council of the Faculty of Business. He also and serves as AU’s On-Line Executive in Residence.
Urban and Regional Development
In Calgary over the past decade he has been active in community development on International Avenue (17th Avenue SE), working closely with the Business Revitalization Zone. He also served as a Director of the International Avenue Arts & Culture Centre. Rockmount is a member of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). Rockmount staff have served in several capacities, including the development of brownfield policy in coordination with the City, the Province of Alberta and the Federal Government.
Mr. Kalmacoff is a member of San Francisco Planning & Urban Research Associates (SPUR), part of his broader continuing connection to the Bay Area which includes Silicon Valley.
Over the last decade, Mr. Kalmacoff has 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.
Russell and his wife, Evelyn Gehmacher were married in 1976 and currently reside in the community of Elboya in SW Calgary. Their daughter Antonia is Manager of Philanthropic Giving at Big Sisters in Vancouver. Her husband Andrew Jennings is a Senior Manager Consulting at Deloitte in Vancouver. Over the years in Toronto and Calgary, Russell, Evelyn and Anotonia have been active members of the United Church of Canada.