US developer Hines has named its first country head for Japan as the blue-chip builder continues to expand its footprint in Asia Pacific.
The Houston-based real estate investment firm announced today that it has appointed former Angelo Gordon executive Jon Tanaka as Japan country head and senior managing director, to lead the company’s expansion in the world’s third biggest economy, starting with the Tokyo market.
“We are very excited to welcome Jon to Hines as our Japan Country Head,” Hines’ APAC chief Ray Lawler said in the announcement. “With his experience and demonstrated expertise, we look forward to elevating our Japanese platform and capitalizing on the growing market opportunities in the country.”
Reporting to Lawler, Tanaka is expected to lead Hines Japan operations across business lines and product types, with his hiring marking the most recent in a string of 22 additions to Hines’ APAC team over the last 12 months. In May, Hines launched its flagship APAC fund Hines Asia Property Partners with $400 million in initial backing from Cadillac Fairview as it looks to invest in logistics, office, living and retail sectors across top-tier markets, including Japan.
Fund Management Experience
“I am excited to be joining Hines and leading the team in Japan,” Tanaka said. “I look forward to growing the platform and expanding our investment activity throughout Japan as part of the initiatives across the wider Asia Pacific region.”
Tanaka arrives at Hines with twenty years of experience, including spending more than a decade as head of real estate for Japan at US private equity firm Angelo Gordon, where he held the rank of managing director and held a seat on the firm’s pan-Asia real estate investment committee.
During his stay with Angelo Gordon, the firm formed a joint venture with ESR to develop a warehouse near Osaka, Japan, before the Hong Kong-listed logistics specialist bought out the JV company for $259 million in March of this year. The Harvard University graduate was also part of Angelo Gordon’s leadership when it raised $1.3 billion in fresh funds for the AG Asia Realty Fund IV in 2019 to deploy in investments in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, mainland China and other parts of the region.
Before joining Angelo Gordon in 2019, Tanaka, who also holds a graduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley, had been a managing director in the Japan operation of Deutsche Bank’s RREEF property fund management unit. He is also a global governing trustees of industry non-profit the Urban Land Institute.
Growing APAC team
Tanaka will be joining the growing central Tokyo office of Hines, which first opened in 2017, to build on the base created by Drew Huffman, another managing director with the firm who moved to Tokyo from Hong Kong over a year ago to oversee acquisitions, development and new-business generation in Japan and South Korea for the company.
Hines says more local hires are on the way in Japan early next year, to add to the company’s 158-person team across 12 cities region-wide.
In July, the developer hired Lim Kian Fon, a former DWS executive, to head its business in Singapore and promoted Claire Cormier Thielke to become the country head for its Greater China operation. A month later, the company welcomed new director Li-Wen Ho, who had previously worked in investor relations with Singapore-based private equity firm SC Capital Partners.
‘In the current economic outlook, investors are increasing their focus and allocations toward Asia,” Hines said in the statement. “With strong underlying economic growth, the risk-adjusted returns present Hines and their investors with compelling opportunities.”
With $3.6 billion in its APAC portfolio, Hines currently lists no Japan projects on its website.
In China the firm has an extensive record, including the 125,000 square metre (1.4 million square feet) One Museum Place in Shanghai and the 32-storey Embassy Palace in Beijing. Recently, the company has been expanding its Australian holdings and is currently developing a 15-storey timber office tower at 36-52 Wellington Street in the Collingswood section of Melbourne.
The 64-year-old American real estate developer has built a presence across 255 cities in 27 countries with $83.6 billion in combined assets under management.