ASIA NEWS: Schmidt goes solo

One sure sign of an investment market nearing the bottom is individuals breaking out from larger platforms to go it alone. revealed last month that Fred Schmidt, Morgan Stanley’s head of real estate investing in Japan, had left the business to do exactly that. He will launch a new platform alongside two other, as yet unnamed, former Morgan Stanley executives.

Schmidt was on gardening leave and unable to comment, but it is understood he will invest from an office in Tokyo, a market which many argue has some way to go before bottoming out.

Just how much of his remit involves investing domestically remains to be seen but Morgan Stanley certainly has a lengthy background in the Japanese market.

According to a report by Reuters in 2006, Morgan Stanley built of a portfolio of assets in the country valued at more than $10 billion. The report added roughly two-thirds of the Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund V International fund, which closed on $4.2 billion, was deployed in Japan.

Schmidt’s responsibilities will fall to Yoshi Shigenari, a long-serving executive who was head of Morgan Stanley’s Asia private equity funds.