Japan veteran Smith leaves Fortress

After almost four years with the New York-based investment firm, Douglas Smith has left to pursue another opportunity. He is understood to be remaining in Tokyo.

Douglas Smith, the Japan real estate banking veteran, has told colleagues and peers that he has left his position at New York-based investment firm Fortress Investment Group.

Smith, who also has held senior positions at Deutsche Bank, Shinsei Bank and Nomura Real Estate Investment Management, said in a circulated email, obtained by PERE, he had departed at the end of August. He did not state what his next step would be however it is understood he will remain based in Tokyo.

He was a managing director at Fortress responsible for the asset management of the properties held within the firm’s two Japan opportunity funds, Fortress Japan Opportunity Fund and Fortress Japan Opportunity Fund II, which have combined equity of approximately $2.5 billion.

He was hired from Deutsche Bank in September 2010 to aid the firm as it sought to capitalize on the deleveraging by financial institutions and on near-term debt maturities for its funds.

He said in his note: “This is to announce my departure, effective August 31, from Fortress Investment Group (Japan) GK after almost four years as the head of asset management. It has been one of the great pleasures of my career to have had the opportunity to work with such an exemplary group of investment professionals.” He did not comment beyond his circular.