CBRE hires new Japan chief

In another sign of increasing interest in Japan, the Los Angeles-based firm has hired corporate finance and real estate pro Takahide Akiyama to lead its Japanese operations.

Richard Ellis has hired Takahide Akiyama as president and CEO and representative director for its Japanese operations, effective January 1.

Akiyama will also serve as senior executive vice president and as a member of the firm’s Asian Pacific Strategic Group, and will begin both of those positions immediately.

During his 30 years in the business Akiyama has worked in both corporate finance and real estate. He previously led the banking and securities divisions as a country head for Bank of New York, and was also president and CEO for the Bank of New York Securities Company Japan. Akiyama also worked for the Mizuho Financial Group, formerly known as the Industrial Bank of Japan, where he worked in Japan, the UK and the US.

While in London in the 1980s, he was involved in financing for a number of major office development and infrastructure projects. In Los Angeles in the 1990s his responsibilities included the management of a substantial real estate loan portfolio in California, Arizona and Hawaii.

The current CEO, Tatsumi Hanaya, will assume the position of Chairman & Representative Director.

Richard Ellis is the largest commercial real estate services company in Japan, with 800 employees in 20 offices. The company in Japan was previously under the name Ikoma, and was founded in 1970.

Richard Ellis has made a number of personnel expansions lately. In August the firm promoted Lee Menifee to director of global strategy, a newly created position within the firm. Menifee was previously a senior director within the firm’s global research team. In July, the firm also expanded its global investor services team with the appointment of three new members: Nicole Bise, joining as a director; Laura Wilks, an associate in the UK; and Jane Hufnagel, responsible for the firm’s investor and internal communications.