AEW Capital Management has opened a new office in Tokyo, as it expands its Asia Pacific real estate investment business into Japan, according to a recent statement by the Boston-based fund manager.
The Tokyo outpost is led by Steve Bass, who was recently hired as director and country manager for Japan, as well as by Kiyomasa Matsuda, who has come on board as an associate director.
Both Bass and Matsuda joined AEW from Orion Partners, where Bass had been the partner responsible for that firm’s real estate business in Japan, and Matsuda had been an executive director in charge of the company’s senior housing investments.
Expanding APAC Platform into Japan
“We are pleased to add Steve Bass and Kiyomasa Matsuda to our team,” David Schaefer, Managing Director and Head of AEW’s Asia Pacific region said in a statement. “Their strong experience, in-depth knowledge of the Japanese property markets and network of contacts will complement and strengthen those of our existing team and will be highly valuable to our investors. I had the privilege of working with both Steve and Kiyomasa in the early 2000s and I am excited to have them join me at AEW.”
The new hires will be housed in AEW’s new office in the Shinjuku Nomura Building, in Tokyo’s Shinjuku business district, with this latest expansion coming just seven months after the company held a $1.12 billion final close on its latest Asia Pacific value-add real estate fund.
Since that time AEW has kept busy pursuing investments in the region, including joining with Singapore’s CapitaLand this month in a 50:50 joint venture that purchased 70 percent of the space in the Pufa Tower in Shanghai’s Lujiazui financial district from a vehicle controlled by HNA Group for RMB 2.75 billion ($402 million).
At the end of November, its was revealed that the fund manager had arranged the purchase of the north tower in the Beijing Oriental Culture and Art Center in Beijing’s Dongcheng district from Hopson Development for a total compensation of RMB 4.5 billion.
Tokyo has stayed in favour with property fund managers in recent years, with a survey of real estate professionals conducted by the Urban Land Institute last year ranking the Japanese capital fourth for investment prospects among Asia Pacific locations.
Getting the Team Back Together Again
Bass joins AEW after eight years with Orion Partners, where he looked after the firm’s property investments in Korea and China, as well as overseeing the Japan market. The Vassar College graduate also has previous professional experience with CBRE Global Investors and Macquarie Group.
Matsuda is charged with implementing AEW’s investment strategy in Japan, including sourcing, structuring and underwriting of new investment opportunities. Like Bass, The Keio University graduate also joined Orion in 2010, and previously worked with CBRE Global Investors and Macquarie.