Tokyo Trust Capital is fortifying its Japan business as the company brings on board a former BlackRock and GE Capital Real Estate executive to help lead its operations in the country.
Chris Handte, who spent more than seven years with BlackRock in Tokyo, where he worked as a director and head of real estate for Japan, has joined Tokyo Trust Capital as a managing director.
“We are thrilled to extend a warm welcome to Chris as he joins the Tokyo Trust Capital team,” said Minoru Machida, chief executive of Tokyo Trust. “With Chris at the helm of our inbound business, we are confident that his extensive industry expertise will be a guiding force, empowering our clients to skillfully navigate the ever-evolving currents of global capital flowing into the Japanese real estate market.”
TE Capital one year ago made its largest investment in Japan to date, investing $100 million to acquire a set of 16 Tokyo rental residential properties on behalf of a family office client.
During his time at BlackRock, Handte managed the asset management giant’s Japan business including underwriting, investment and asset management for both core-plus and opportunistic mandates.
Also among his duties was restructuring the legacy business of MGPA, which BlackRock had acquired in 2013, and sourcing opportunities via channels including corporates, trust banks, asset managers, banks and brokers.
In his new role, Handte will lead inbound investment into Japanese real estate markets on behalf of Tokyo Trust, reporting to Machida.
“I am impressed by Tokyo Trust Capital`s strong sponsorship and support from institutions and family offices in the region and its unique business model covering both outbound and inbound capital flows,” Handte said. “I am excited to work with the team and our clients to source and manage real estate investment opportunities in Japan.”
Prior to joining BlackRock, the graduate of Princeton University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, was an executive director with the structured finance team at GE Capital Real Estate in Tokyo.
Handte’s earlier experience includes stints at Japan’s Shinsei Bank and Merrill Lynch.
Ready for the Rising Sun
In 2021, Tokyo Trust Capital formed a strategic partnership with Singapore private equity firm, TE Capital Partners, backed by members of the family behind Tong Eng Group, a seven-decade-old Singapore real estate developer.
With the support of the firm’s Singaporean partner and investors, TE Capital
Executed together with TE Capital and third party investors, Tokyo Trust Capital’s October 2022 acquisition in Tokyo was the firm’s latest bet on Japan’s rental residential sector and brought 400 homes into its portfolio.
In 2020 and 2021, TE Capital had used funds from its TE Japan Income Partners I and II funds to purchase a six Tokyo residential properties for a combined $110 million.
Having set local pricing records with the rapid-fire sell-out of its Solitaire on Cecil project in Singapore’s central business district earlier this year, TE Capital has continued to be active in its home market, with the company now in exclusive due diligence for the purchase of an office building in the Orchard Road area for a price said to be in the neigbourhood of S$460 million ($336 million).