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Redwood Trust, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, is a financial institution that seeks to invest in real estate related assets that have the potential to provide attractive cash flows over a long period of time and support our goal of distributing attractive levels of dividends to our stockholders.
We primarily invest in residential mortgage loans, commercial loans and other forms of commercial real estate financing, and in securities collateralized by real estate loans (which are securities issued in securitization transactions and which are also referred to as mortgage-backed securities). Our investments in residential mortgage loans are generally made with a view towards securitizing those loans through a Sequoia securitization entity or selling those loans to third parties. Our investments in commercial loans are generally held for investment and not secured by real property. The mortgage-backed securities we typically invest in include senior securities, which are those interests in a mortgage securitization that generally have the first right to cash flows and are generally last to absorb losses, and subordinate securities, which are those interests in a mortgage securitization that generally have the last right to cash flows and are generally first in line to absorb losses. Some of the securities we invest in are re-REMIC support securities, which are securities that are generally created through the resecuritization of senior mortgage-backed securities. Re-REMIC support securities are subordinate to, and provide credit support for, the senior re-REMIC securities issued in a resecuritization. We also invest in other assets, securities, and instruments that are related to residential and commercial real estate.
Securities collateralized by residential mortgage loans, which we also refer to as residential securities, that we invest in are generally acquired by us from third parties or by retaining mortgage-backed securities issued by Sequoia securitization trusts, which are securitization entities we sponsor. The process of sponsoring a Sequoia securitization includes the acquisition of residential loans, which are originated by third parties and generally funded with equity and short-term debt while being accumulated for securitization, the transfer of a pool of those loans to a Sequoia securitization entity, and the structuring and issuance by the Sequoia securitization entity of mortgage-backed securities collateralized by that pool of loans. Senior securities issued by Sequoia securitization entities are generally issued to third parties, while some or all of the subordinate securities issued by these entities are generally retained by us. From time to time we may also invest in senior interest-only (“IO”) securities issued by a Sequoia securitization entity. These IO securities receive interest payments (but no principal payments) related to securitized residential mortgage loans.
Our investments in commercial loans and other forms of commercial real estate financing generally result from our origination of subordinate financing for commercial real estate. Subordinate financing for commercial real estate can take the form of mezzanine loans or subordinate mortgage loans and can also take the form of preferred equity interests in special purpose entities that own commercial real estate. In addition to directly originating commercial loans and directly providing preferred equity financing, we may invest in commercial loans and financing originated by others (including through ownership of commercial mortgage-backed securities).
For tax purposes, we are structured as a real estate investment trust (REIT). We are able to pass through substantially all of our earnings generated at our REIT to our stockholders without paying income tax at the corporate level. We pay income tax on the REIT taxable income we retain and on the income we earn at our taxable subsidiaries. Redwood was incorporated in the State of Maryland on April 11, 1994, and commenced operations on August 19, 1994. Our executive offices are located at One Belvedere Place, Suite 300, Mill Valley, California 94941.