Fred Schmidt, Morgan Stanley’s head of real estate investing in Japan has resigned from his position in order to launch his own platform.
The Tokyo-based professional plans to raise a distressed real estate fund alongside two former Morgan Stanley partners, one based in New York and the other in London covering the US and Europe respectively.
Schmidt’s responsibilities fall to Yoshi Shigenari, who was head of Morgan Stanley’s Asia private equity funds and has been a long-serving executive at Morgan Stanley. Shigenari has been promoted to president and head of real estate in Japan. He will work closely with Marcus Merner, chief operating officer of the platform.
Morgan Stanley has been one of the biggest foreign buyers of real estate in Japan. According to a report by Reuters in 2006, under Schmidt’s leadership, the investment bank managed a portfolio of more than $10 billion in Japan. The report said roughly two-thirds of Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund V International, which closed on $4.2 billion, was deployed in Japan. About 75 percent of that was invested in Tokyo.
Morgan Stanley confirmed Schmidt’s departure but would not comment further. Schmidt also declined to comment.
News of Schmidt's departure comes shortly after James Lapushnar resigned from Morgan Stanley as exectuive director and head of real estate acquisitions for Morgan Stanley in Germany. The former Credit Suisse real estate lending exectuive is to leave at the end of the first quarter.