LaSalle Investment Management has hired Keith Fujii to head up the company’s platform in Japan, where the subsidiary of JLL has roughly $5 billion of assets under management.
Fujii tooks the reins as CEO and President of Japan effective March 1st. Based in Tokyo, the real estate investment and banking veteran will lead LaSalle’s platform for investments in core-oriented strategies in the country. Fujii, a Bank of America Merrill Lynch alum, joins LaSalle from Japan’s Ishin Hotel Group where he served as CEO.
The executive has also been named Representative Director and President of LaSalle Investment Management KK – LaSalle Group’s Japan-based corporate entity set up in 2001 – and will join the board of directors of LaSalle REIT Advisors KK, asset manager of Japanese logistics vehicle LaSalle Logiport REIT.
US-based LaSalle is one of the world’s top real estate investment managers with about $58 billion of global investments under management worldwide.
Fujii Takes Charge of Growing Japan Business
Fujii succeeds chief executive Yas Nakashima, who will stay on as a representative director of LaSalle Investment Management KK and will continue to support LaSalle’s Japan logistics platform, according to a statement by the company.
Remaining on the LaSalle Asia Investment Committee, Nakashima will focus on new opportunities for investment and business development, both domestic and cross-border, and will work together with Fujii to further grow the firm’s core business in Japan.
“Keith has a deep understanding of the Japanese real estate market, and is a strong leader with successful experience managing large teams to achieve their investment goals,” commented Mark Gabbay, the company’s CEO and CIO for Asia Pacific. “With about $5 billion of our regional AUM located in Japan, and a significant source of LaSalle Global Securities’ capital coming from the domestic market, Japan is an important and growing part of our business.”
“Keith’s joining will strengthen LaSalle’s regional leadership as we further expand our core platform and diversify across asset types in Japan,” Gabbay added.
Fujii has over 25 years of experience building profitable real estate businesses in Asia, including stints at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, private equity firm Grove International Partners and Japan’s Shinsei Bank.
LaSalle indicated that Fujii will replace Nakashima on the board of LaSalle REIT Advisors KK, which manages the 173.4 billion yen ($1.6 billion) LaSalle Logiport REIT. The vehicle has a portfolio of nine properties in the Tokyo area as of January 31.
LaSalle Raises Cash for Logistics Deals
Outgoing CEO Nakashima “was an early pioneer in the establishment of Japanese logistics as an institutional asset class,” commented Jeff Jacobson, global CEO of LaSalle Investment Management in the statement. “With his team, they have delivered exceptional returns in development and investment in Japanese logistics over the past 15 years with the Japan Logistics Fund (JLF) series.”
Last November, LaSalle announced the closing of its fourth Japanese logistics fund, JLF IV, after raising $350 million in new cash to build out its portfolio in the country. The new vehicle mainly targets the Greater Tokyo and Osaka markets, and the latest capital infusion would allow LaSalle to bet over $1 billion on warehouse developments and value-add opportunities in Japan.
The Land of the Rising Sun is also one of the target markets for LaSalle’s Asia Opportunity V Fund (LAO V), launched in August 2016, which had secured $335 million in capital commitments as of last August. Taking pending commitments into account, LaSalle aims for a final fund size of over $1 billion, primarily targetting value-add opportunities across a number of Asian markets.
LaSalle Investment Management is an independent subsidiary of NYSE-listed brokerage JLL.