Oak International Finance was originally formed as a partnership in 1990 specifically to take advantage of the opportunities presented at that time within the UK municipal leasing market. Previously, Oak's founder and current Chairman and CEO, George Rozwadowski, had been heavily involved in lease finance since 1977 when he worked for the then only publicly quoted city money brokers, RP Martin Plc. In 1980, he moved to IBL, a computer leasing company, where he headed lease finance operations.
Since its foundation 1990, Oak has expanded into other markets, successfully raising finance for numerous projects across several market sectors. One of those sectors was the Spanish Property market and through this project, George met Oak’s other current Director Rob Meyer, who had many years of experience in Spanish Real Estate.
In 2011, Rob was invited to Brazil by family friend Julio Andres Iglesias. Julio had been working in what was then called the 'My House My Life' programme since its inception in 2009, initially as a civil engineer for Capuche, one of the largest developers in the Rio Grande do Norte region. However, in 2010, Julio had launched his own construction company, P2J Construtora, and was keen to explore ways of raising investment capital from Europe.
Struck by the enormous potential in the My House My Life programme, Rob was soon back for a second visit, this time accompanied by George. Both were immediately convinced of the financial viability of the programme, but were also equally moved by the amazing humanitarian opportunity to help some of Brazil’s poorest people to escape from the danger of the favelas and into secure and modern accommodation. Rather than immediately open the door to external investors, George and Rob decided to invest their own private funds to “test the system” and the seeds of Oak’s involvement in Brazil were sown.
The next two years were not without their challenges and proved to be a steep learning curve. Seen initially by the locals as foreigners in for a “quick buck”, George and Rob had to battle their way through the bureaucracy of planning and sales. However, as each phase was completed and funds were rolled into further projects, Oak built up its reputation and network of contacts, winning over the relevant local authorities.
The major turning point came in 2014. Oak International Finance formalised its relationship with Massari Construtora S.L. Together they opened a Real Estate office in Extremoz under the name Leão de Judá Imoveis S.L. and the Oak IF Group was formed. Our new and permanent visible presence saw local attitudes towards us turn full circle. We were now seen as a company that not only wanted to participate in the development of the town over the next decade or more, but also as a provider of long-term employment opportunities for its inhabitants. Our contacts in entities such as the Land Registry, the Tax Office and most importantly, the planning department of the Town Hall realised Oak’s commitment and have since been fully supportive of all our projects.
With all the pieces of the jigsaw now in place, Oak opened its doors to external investment, although restricting itself at this stage to personal contacts and friends. Having raised additional investment, Oak has gone on to build approximately 500 properties over the 6 years up to 2020. Both 2020 and 2021 were heavily affected by Covid but the programme was showing a return to normality at the back end of 2021 and Oak is projected to build a further 150 properties in 2022. In addition to that, Massari Construtora S.L. has built over 750 properties as a constructor for other developers in the immediate area.
Oak IF Group is now ready to take the next step in its development and is looking to raise finance for larger projects. As potential investors, we invite you to join us on this journey, to be a part of this exciting and financially proven project and to assist us in helping change people’s lives for the better.