For more than 35 years Michael Foxman has been involved in various business endeavors. Since 1996 he has focused his career on the evolving sector of risk management. Being agnostic about industry, he centered his strengths toward resolving fundamental issues of various kinds, particularly those which have broader impacts on a community, society, or the environment. His passion ultimately is regional economic development with employment, homeownership and social cohesion as his agenda, but his personal mission is simple, and that is to be “purposeful.”
Michael has created hundreds of thousands of jobs worldwide and enabled countless communities to flourish. In 2009, he brought his invaluable skillset to RiskWise Global Capital Group, a strategic, technical, and project risk management firm based in Denver, Colorado. Operating across the globe, the group specializes in the planning, risk and finance underwriting and delivery of business and project solutions for a variety of industries. We sat down with Michael to find out more about his career journey and the success of RiskWise and to hear—in his own words—the story of his battle against government corruption.
Let’s begin with your background. How did you get your start in the work force?
I credit my mom with instilling my strong work ethic and good moral values. My parents owned several businesses including petrol stations, where I started working at eight years old. At 14, wanting to know more about business, I got a job at the fast-food restaurant, Hungry Jacks. My motivation was merely to learn about the business and then move on. I’d only planned to work there for a few months. Soon enough my sister, mother, and I ended up buying a hamburger business on Bondi Beach for $40,000. After running it for a year, we sold it for $180,000. This was my first business and first major transaction. Investing the capital, I helped expand a video store chain my mom and sister had purchased. My involvement led to creating an entire new sector within the video industry and brought licensed products from Disney to Paramount into the Australian market. This was all very innovative for the 1980s.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
At RiskWise, we deal with complex problems. We are information and analytics based, and relationship oriented—attributes that ensure projects have clear objectives, while being feasible and bankable before they begin. We often find ourselves stepping in on projects or businesses as issues arise. Our clients can be innovators, corporate enterprises, real estate developers, builders, government, and non-government agencies.
Our global footprint and network of experts enables us to serve clients worldwide. Our focus on real estate does not limit us in terms of the type of development; from heavy industrial and infrastructure to scientific and academic, to master planned communities, to commercial and residential projects. We apply traditional fundamentals with our own propriety methodology to enable viable solutions to be delivered. For example, a real estate development client, where market dynamics have changed: We pull the project apart and extrapolate a pathway to achieve the greatest potential. We look to market indicators from research we conduct, but we reach much deeper as we endeavor to solve underlying problems and package a full and comprehensive solution, which usually includes the introduction of third-parties for collaborations and other viable solutions that yield value to the client.
Tell us about the philanthropic side of RiskWise.
We work with many different organizations—from religious to community groups, to social justice and humanitarian organizations, to those who seek to innovate and commercialize solutions for the good of humanity. We’re forward planners, involved in evolving brilliant concepts such as smart city networks, super smart cities, mega-data and financial platforms, to the global rollout of rent-to-own residential developments. We’re currently working with several ambitious ventures such as carbon negative electricity generation (CapEx reduction of 50-70% and wholesale electricity at $0.02 KwH), as well as national public lighting and safety systems with integrated broadband, water, road, transport and logistics infrastructure.
You also work in very complex, regulated spaces. Can you give us some examples of those?
Over the years we have been extensively involved in the casino, gaming, telco, fin-tech, pharma, and non-combat weaponry markets. Our feature specialization is licensing and regulatory compliance for casino and manufacturing developments, and the commercialization of patentable innovations, particularly those which require extremely discrete positioning. The tech-type clients we’re focusing on today are market disruptors whose solutions benefit humanity. For example, we’re advising groups with innovations such as a self-energizing technology to replace dry ice. It reduces energy cost and environmental challenges while lowering the overall cost in cold storage and logistics. Another client has developed a patented process in creating nanoparticles that reduces production costs from $1,000 to $50 per kilogram, while bringing energy demand down to 240 volts. There are numerous applications for industry, one being the substitution of graphite for silicon-nanoparticles in lithium-ion batteries, which extends battery life by 12x and has a huge impact on overall life-cycle costs. We look for innovations such as these which can rapidly capture a dominant worldwide market share. We’re mindful about finding ways to boost employment prospects and endeavor to achieve this by encouraging deployment of profit yields into industry creating symbiotic relationships, encouraging partnerships that lead to growth.
Chief Executive Officer
RiskWise Global Capital Group