Schroders has continued the expansion of its real estate division with the establishment of a Japan property investment operation last month, according to company representatives.
The UK investment management firm has appointed former JP Morgan Asset Management executive Keisuke Kusano as its head of real estate for Japan, with Kusano joining the company late last month. He now reports locally to Schroders country head Noriaki Kurose and functionally to Allan Lee, head of real estate for Asia ex-China at London-based Schroders.
“With Kei joining the Tokyo office, Schroders Capital establishes our in-country, on-the-ground real estate capability,” Lee said Friday in a statement to Mingtiandi.
The expansion of Schroders’ real estate investment business into Japan comes less than three years after the company entered Asia through its acquisition of Hong Kong-based Pamfleet, with the firm having actively acquired assets in Singapore and Hong Kong in recent months.
Strength in Acquisitions
Kusano, who most recently served as an executive director in JP Morgan Asset Management’s Tokyo office, has over 15 years of experience as a real estate professional across acquisitions and asset management in Japan and overseas, Schroders said.
The Arizona State University grad, who also holds an MBA from Montreal’s McGill University, spent nine years at JP Morgan after previous stints at London-based Aviva Investors and Japanese firm Touchstone Capital Management.
“I am thrilled to be part of Schroders Capital and I look forward to working with the team to offer our international and domestic clients real estate opportunities and solutions in Japan,” Kusano said.
“Schroders has deep ties with Japan, having opened an office in Tokyo in 1974,” said Schroders’ head of real estate for Asia Pacific Andrew Moore. “Its real estate market is one of the largest in Asia and will remain a key focus for global investors.”
In Japan, the 200-year-old firm — which had nearly $760 billion in assets under management as of 31 December 2020 — already manages its Japan Growth Fund under its global operation, while also operating several local investment strategies for domestic investors.
Singapore Mall in Hand
The announcement by Schroders late last week came just days after the firm announced the completion of its acquisition of Wisteria Mall in Singapore, in a transaction first reported by Mingtiandi in January.
The firm’s Pamfleet Real Estate Fund III picked up the 2018-vintage mall, which forms the retail podium below the Wisteria condo complex in the Yishun area, for S$208 million ($154.8 million).
“We are pleased to acquire a high-quality suburban retail property that offers resilient income and growth potential as the Singapore retail market continues to recover on the back of a better economic outlook,” said Adrian Seow, head of Singapore real estate at Schroders.
Also in January, Mingtiandi reported that a Schroders joint venture had sold the Travelodge Central Hollywood Hotel in Hong Kong’s Central district for $109 million.
In 2020, the firm purchased Hong Kong’s Cityplaza One office tower in a consortium with local firm Gaw Capital and Canada’s Manulife for $1.27 billion.