AXA Real Estate Investment Managers, the leading real estate manager in Europe with 38.4 billion of assets under management, has announced the signing of an agreement with The Sumitomo Trust and Banking Co., Ltd., one of the largest trust banks in Japan, formalizing plans to jointly set up an investment fund for Japanese real estate.
Frank Khoo, AXA Real Estate Global Head of Asia, commented: "AXA Real Estate already has an existing team on ground in Japan, but we have chosen to tie up with Sumitomo as we feel that this tie up will greatly enhance our execution ability in Tokyo both from the aspect of deal sourcing and asset management."
Shigeki Tanaka, General Manager of Real Estate Business Planning Dept, commented: "STB aims to expand its business field to serve our clients more sophisticatedly by strengthening its cross-border real estate business capabilities, providing investment opportunities in Japanese real estate to overseas investors as well as overseas real estate investment chances to Japanese investors. By collaborating with AXA Real Estate, STB will take the advantage to the other competing domestic players in terms of providing global wise business opportunities to our clients."
The proposed fund will be managed by AXA Real Estate as the Global Fund Manager with STB Real Estate Investment Management Co., Ltd. (STREIM), a subsidiary of Sumitomo, providing asset management services. The Sumitomo Group has traditional strengths in banking, trust and real estate business, and through STREIM, also has a track record in asset management of real estate investments.
Following the signing of the agreement, the parties are looking at launching the fund in 1st half 2010, targeting to raise approximately ¥50 billion capital commitments from institutional investors.
AXA Life Insurance Japan, a subsidiary of the AXA group, and Sumitomo have indicated interest in the proposed fund, further strengthening the existing on-going relationship between the AXA group and Sumitomo. Sumitomo is the existing custodian for AXA Life Insurance (Japan) and further collaboration talks between the parties are underway.
This collaboration between AXA Real Estate and Sumitomo will provide investors access to AXA Real Estate's global fund management expertise and Sumitomo's know how in Japan, including direct access to Japanese real estate opportunities.