Manulife appoints new real estate head in Japan

Former AXA Real Estate Investment Manager and GE Capital’s senior executive Hidetoshi Ono will now lead the insurance firm’s real estate department in Japan.  

Manulife Life Insurance, the Canadian life insurance company, has hired Hidetoshi Ono as managing director for its real estate department in Japan.

Ono will be responsible for the management of all corporate real estate activities in the country, as well as the insurer’s real estate investment portfolio in Japan.

“First of all I am excited by the opportunity this role presents and look forward to contributing to the growth of Manulife’s real estate business,” Ono told PERE in an emailed response. “I look to build the size and quality of the investment portfolio over time through the strategic acquisitions and pursuit of development projects.”

A veteran real estate professional, Ono was previously the head of the Japan Core Fund of AXA Real Estate Investment Managers in Singapore. In the past, he also worked as managing director and country manager at ING Real Estate Investment Japan.

He has also held senior positions in a nine-year association with General Electric in Japan. There, he started the Japan operations of GE Capital Real Estate. He also served as executive operating officer of GE Edison Life Company, and later on was appointed as managing director of corporate marketing at GE International in Japan.

The Japanese arm of the insurance company has, so far, not made any investments outside Japan. Within the country, its portfolio consists of 12 buildings located in seven cities, including Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.

Manulife’s global real estate arm called Manulife Real Estate has a portfolio of more than 38 million square feet with a market value of $10.2 billion.