Savills Investment Management’s former head of asset management for Asia, Craig Pearce, has established a real estate investment consultancy firm, Nikota Capital.
Pearce is targeting Japan with his new advisory platform, primarily concentrating on assisting professional investors source, structure and manage opportunities in the country’s capital.
“The initial focus of Nikota Capital will be opportunities in Greater Tokyo, one of the deepest and most sophisticated metropolitan real estate markets globally,” Pearce said. “The plan is to work closely with institutional investors and established family offices, and deliver them unique investment opportunities.”
Pearce said that Nikota Capital also plans to invest alongside its clients over time.
The former Savills IM leader has teamed up with his former Goldman Sachs colleague and Japan real estate veteran, Hiromichi Nishihara, to open Nikota Capital offices in both Hong Kong and Tokyo.
With Pearce based in Hong Kong, Nishihara is leading operations in Japan from the country’s capital after spending the previous decade as a director of real estate investment with a private family office in Tokyo,
“I see immense opportunity in the Japan market, and I look forward to building out the platform with my business partner, Hiromichi Nishihara, and capitalizing on those opportunities with our clients,” Pearce added.
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Pearce spent three years with Savills IM starting from 2015 and served as head of asset management for Asia Pacific. In the role with the investment affiliate of UK-based Savills, Pearce had a remit to expand the Asian platform and manage the firm’s property assets in Hong Kong and China.
Prior to joining Savills, the graduate of Australia’s Griffith University spent 14 years with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley’s real estate investment platforms based in Tokyo and later Hong Kong.
The Harvard University graduate started his career with Mori Building, Japan’s largest developer, where he was manager of the company’s overseas property division for four years, based in Shanghai and Tokyo.
Pearce’s partner on his new venture, Nishihara, has 20 years of experience in the Japanese real estate industry, investing across all asset classes in the major markets.
A Keio University graduate, Nishihara had previously worked on the property investment platforms at both Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse before joining the Tokyo-based family office where he oversaw its real estate investment programme from 2009 until this year.
Joining the Japan Club
The announcement follows growing interest in Japan-focused property investments including such recent landmark deals as GLP’s decision last to set up a JPY 625 billion ($5.6 billion) fund targeting the country’s logistics real estate sector.
Just two months ago, the UK’s Aberdeen Standard Investments announced that it had teamed up with Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank to form a residential property investment joint venture, which came four months after the Scottish firm’s purchase of Orion Partners.
In May, Allianz Real Estate said that it was investing $600 million into China and Japan real estate investment funds managed by GLP.
That announcement came four months after AEW Capital Management opened a new office in Tokyo headed up by former Orion Partners executive Steve Bass, to help expand its Asia Pacific real estate investment business into Japan.
In the same month, logistics real estate developer ESR said that it had formed a joint venture with AXA Investment Managers and an unnamed sovereign wealth fund to acquire core logistics properties in Japan, starting with the $1 billion acquisition of six Tokyo and Osaka assets.
What do “unique investment opportunities” look like?