TH Real Estate has added Shusaku (Shu) Watanabe as Director of Capital Transactions for Asia, as the real estate investment management company continues to build up its Singapore-based team.
At TH, Watanabe will lead a team in evaluating, structuring and originating acquisitions across Asia, as the company, formerly known as TIAA-Henderson works to deploy capital across the region. The 18-year industry veteran will report to Chris Reilly, TH’s APAC managing director.
“His (Watanabe’s) strong transaction history and experience of managing deals through their full life cycle will be a great asset to our business as we make further inroads into the region,” Reilly said via a prepared statement. “We are particularly excited about leveraging his experience across Japan, a region that we believe holds strong investment potential.”
Prior to joining TH, Watanabe was an executive director with JP Morgan Asset Management in Singapore, where he was responsible for marketing, structuring and closing the US investment firm’s Tokyo Recovery Fund, a private real estate fund invested into the Tokyo office sector. JP Morgan successfully exited the fund in 2015.
Watanabe is the latest in a string of new hires for TH in the region, including Harry Tan, who signed up as Head of Research, Asia Pacific in December last year, and Carsten Kebbedies who joined as Head of Business Development, Asia Pacific in April 2015.
In addition to his time at JP Morgan Asset Management, Watanabe served for more than three years as a fund manager with Aviva Investors in Singapore, and also worked as a vice president for investment banking with Macquarie Capital Securities in Tokyo.
Tokyo has been drawing more attention for international fund managers in the past two years, with the members of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) voting Tokyo the most attractive major market for property investment in a survey last year.
TH’s hire of Watanabe should signal that the London-based investment manager will be paying more attention to Tokyo and follows soon after Savills Investment Management said that it would be launching a second Japan investment vehicle to follow up on its Greater Tokyo Office Fund.