ZAIS Financial Corp. (ZFC) is a externally-managed and advised real estate investment trust (REIT) that invests in, finances and manages performing and re-performing residential mortgage loans, which may be seasoned or recently originated. We have the discretion to invest in mortgage-backed securities and other mortgage-related assets. ZFC generates income primarily by the net spread between the income we earn on our assets and the cost of our financing and hedging activities. Our objective is to provide attractive risk-adjusted returns to our stockholders primarily through quarterly distributions and secondarily through capital appreciation.
We were incorporated in Maryland on May 24, 2011, commenced operations on July 29, 2011 and have elected to be treated as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes beginning with the taxable year ended December 31, 2011. One of the requirements of maintaining our qualification as a REIT is that we must distribute at least 90% of our annual REIT taxable income to our stockholders. Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "ZFC."
We are externally managed and advised by ZAIS REIT Management, LLC (Advisor), a subsidiary of ZAIS Group, LLC, a privately-held, investment advisor registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with approximately $4.1 billion(1) of assets under management as of March 31, 2015.
Today’s credit volatility across the RMBS market presents many opportunities to acquire attractive target assets. We focus on non-Agency RMBS with an emphasis on securities that, when originally issued, were rated in the highest rating category by one or more of the nationally recognized statistical rating organizations, as well as Agency RMBS. Utilizing our "Efficient Frontier" valuation tool, this scenario-based approach shows risk/reward profiles across a wide range of macroeconomic environments and idiosyncratic events. Based on these analyses, we strategically employ leverage to enhance our risk-adjusted returns. Our senior management team members have extensive track records in managing mortgage loan and RMBS assets through a variety of credit and interest rate environments.
Further, we believe economic risk factors and privatizing mortgage credit risk will create prospects to acquire legacy mortgage loans. Our experience with diverse residential mortgage assets is complementary to evaluating, acquiring and risk managing whole loans. In addition, our "Efficient Frontier" valuation provides us the capability to take an integrated approach to both RMBS and whole loan packages. Over time we expect to purchase performing and re-performing residential whole loans and eventually to evolve our whole loan strategy to include newly originated loans, which may also become a core component of our strategy and a key differentiator of our performance. We will also have the discretion to invest in other real estate-related and financial assets, including mortgage servicing rights (MSRs), interest only strips created from RMBS (or IOs), commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) and asset-backed securities (ABS).