DWS continues to add to its Asia Pacific leadership team with the investment management unit of Deutsche Bank announcing on Tuesday that it has promoted Koichiro Obu to head of real estate for Japan.
Obu is taking on the top spot in Asia’s second-largest economy with the German fund manager in addition to his responsibilities as head of real estate research for Asia Pacific, with the company’s regional real estate boss pointing to Obu’s experience as preparing him to lead the Japan business in a market undergoing rapid change.
“I am confident in Koichiro’s proven leadership skills and his ability to continue this legacy by optimizing value for our real estate investors.” Christopher Kimm, head of real estate for Asia Pacific at DWS said in a statement. “As an industry veteran, his depth of expertise across real estate disciplines and unique knowledge of the Japan real estate market makes him well placed to reposition our presence in today’s market conditions, as well as create resilience for the future.”
Obu’s appointment is the latest in a series of Asia Pacific personnel moves for DWS, which had named new leadership for its Korea and Singapore real estate teams just four months ago.
16-Year Company Veteran
With 28 years of industry experience, Obu has been with DWS since 2007 and has been leading Asia Pacific real estate research for the company for the past decade, after earlier taking responsibility for the Japan and Korea markets.
“Our priority remains focused on crystalizing gains for DWS investors and sourcing attractive investment opportunities across new sectors and strategies leveraging our long-established networks and structuring expertise,” Obu said in the statement.
Prior to joining DWS, the University of Tokyo graduate served as head of real estate and construction for the corporate research department of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in Tokyo, as well as having been a senior research analyst with SMBC in London.
“It is an honor to lead the Japan real estate business for DWS and I look forward to continuing our platform’s strong heritage as a leading fiduciary real estate manager.” Obu said. Having taken on his new responsibilities, Obu will now report to Kimm in Singapore in addition to his existing supervision by London-based Simon Wallace, global co-head of real estate research for EMEA and APAC at DWS.
APAC Leadership Refresh
DWS, which is majority owned by Deutsche Bank, but listed separately on the Frankfurt exchange, in June promoted portfolio manager Leiting Deng to serve as head of real estate in Singapore, while also upgrading Junghoon (Phil) Kook from head of transactions for Korea to head of real estate for Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
In the final month of 2022 DWS promoted Steven Kim to head of real estate asset management for Asia Pacific after the Seoul-based executive had previously served as head of real estate asset management for Korea.
In November of last year the company hired George Anastasiou as head of real estate in Australia, bringing the Aussie investment veteran on board from MEC Global Partners Asia, a member of the Mitsubishi Estate group, where he had served as head of Australia.
DWS Real Estate, which functions as part of the alternatives division at DWS, had nearly EUR 79 billion ($83.4 billion) in property assets under management globally as of 30 June.