Fortress picks up Japan banking vet Smith

Fortress, the New York-based alternative investments group, has bolstered its Japanese real estate platform with the hire of banking veteran Douglas Smith. Smith, who joined last week, will work closely with Fortress’ head of real estate in Japan Tom Pulley.

Fortress Investment Group, the New York-based alternative asset management firm, has hired Japanese real estate banking veteran Douglas Smith.

PERE has learned that Smith, who resigned from his role as managing director and head of commercial real estate at Deutsche Bank’s Japan business in April, has been appointed a managing director at Fortress’s Tokyo office. He started work last week. Smith was unavailable for comment but it is understood that he will work closely with Fortress’s Japan real estate head, Tom Pulley.

Fortress has targeted Japan as a focus for its growth in real estate in Asia. In July, the firm held a final closing of $800 million for its first real estate fund for Asia, the Fortress Japan Opportunity Domestic Fund. The vehicle has already made notable investments, including the purchase of 1,200 home loans from subsidiaries of Lehman Brothers last August and more recently, approximately $230 million of the corporate debt of embattled Tokyo private equity real estate firm daVinci Holdings.

In Smith, Fortress have hired a market veteran with more than 20 years experience in the Japanese market. He spent three years at Deutsche Bank having joined the German bank in April 2007. During his time there he was involved in a number of large-scale financings in Tokyo, including the purchase of the Shinsei Bank head office building, a waterfront hotel and a portfolio of office buildings.

To read an interview by PERE with Doug Smith during his time at Deutsche Bank, click here.

Before Deutsche Bank, he worked for Japanese bank, Shinsei Bank where he spent nine years. Prior to that, Smith was at Nomura Real Estate where he established its real estate investment funds business. In that time, he worked on a joint venture with Starwood Capital.