Doctor of Commerce
Born and educated in The Netherlands, Richard Homburg arrived in Nova Scotia in 1972, with big dreams, little cash, boundless energy, and vision of unlimited opportunities. Nowadays, he is a proud Canadian and an extremely successful entrepreneur whose worldwide holdings are managed through Homburg Uni-Corp, Inc., in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Since 1969, he has built up a highly successful portfolio of multifaceted operations worldwide, located not only in Canada and The Netherlands but also in the United States, Barbados, China, and Australia. He established an Import/Export business and reinvested the profits in real estate, primarily in Metro Halifax initially. His real estate operations have now expanded across the Atlantic Provinces, Alberta, and the western United States as well as The Netherlands. In addition, he has branched out into Merchant Banking, hotels, asset and project management, development and construction, crisis management services for institutional investors as well as acquisitions and disposals with great success.
His successful methodology, vision, and fairness is seen with the acquisition of the AMS Hotel Group which, in 1991, was near bankruptcy. Its sale price eight years later was $60 million. Similarly, Uni-invest N.V. was almost bankrupt and had approximately CAD $100 million in assets and approximately $10 million in equity. When this entity was sold in 2002, its assets were approximately American $30 billion, equity at CAD $1.5 billion. The growth of the latter was directly attributable to Mr. Homburg's aggressive efforts to reorganize and revolutionize the Dutch Real Estate market. The application of attributes learned in building his Canadian operations such as a professional management team; repairs being done in-house rather than contracted out ? were previously unheard of in the Netherlands. As he bought or developed numerous properties and merged a number of Dutch public and private companies into Uni-invest for cash and share consideration, he would only enter a transaction when it enhanced shareholders value. As a result of Mr. Homburg?s business acumen and personal philosophy, Uni-invest N.V. was the top performing real estate fund on the Amsterdam Exchange from both liquidity and rates of return to shareholders? perspectives. It is not surprising that many prospective purchasers tried to acquire his equity interests in Uni-invest but it was not until 2002, when he was assured that all company shareholders would be treated equally with this interest, that he sold the company. Now, many of these same investors are buying into Mr. Homburg's operations in Canada.
In 2000, Mr. Homburg made the decision to duplicate his success in Europe by setting up a public real estate company in Canada. Homburg Invest Inc. (TSX:HII) became listed on the TSX on January 2001. His strategic goal is to grow the public company and related investments to $1 billion in assets by 2007. This is being done through direct acquisitions and through Dutch limited partnerships that buy Canadian properties. To date, the two entities have acquired, or have under construction, approximately CAD $460 million in assets.
The Homburg Group has undertaken to build 10,000 quality multi-residential units over the next seven years. Their plans call for 5,000 units in Western Canada, 3,000 units in Ontario and Quebec and 2,000 units in Atlantic Canada. In a recent six month period, 825 units have commenced construction in Edmonton, Moncton, and Halifax. The residential development alone will generate approximately $1.2 billion in new Canadian investment.
All Canadian operations are covered by asset and property management agreements with one of Mr. Homburg's management companies, a practice which he describes as off balance sheet management which maximizes cost control and HII or the Dutch investors only pay the asset manager for successes. Mr. Homburg and his group assumes all responsibility for risk until a successful transaction is completed. His philosophy in acquiring real estate is to have a balanced mix of assets in the portfolio, residential, retail, office and industrial. Years of experience have taught him that this provides the most stable earnings because all sectors are not up or down at the same time and therefore a smoothing effect occurs. Another key to his success is that the realization THE TENANT is at the top of the priority ladder; hence, he does everything to ensure that THE TENANT is satisfied at all times.
Mr. Homburg?s philanthropic leadership role in Nova Scotia includes his $1.5 million donation in 2004 to Saint Mary's University to establish the Homburg International Student Mobility Awards which annually allows eight deserving students to experience international language study abroad. As a citizen of the world, he has seen first hand the benefits of education and establishing global relationships for the benefit of Canada.
He is a strong supporter of his community, serving on many boards, both corporate and voluntary, in HRM. Significant gifts from him have been received by the QEII Health Science Centre Foundation; Dalhousie University's Medical School; the Isaac Walton Killam Children's Hospital as well as Christ Church in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Mr. Homburg is a key role model for students in Saint Mary's Sobey School of Business where entrepreneurship is a major within the Bachelor of Commerce degree program while its Business Development Centre fosters the entrepreneurial spirit in students.