LaSalle Investment Management has named Akira Nishimura head of client services for Japan.

Based in Tokyo, Nishimura reports to Mike Smith, director of client services for Asia. He is responsible for the development of LaSalleÆs key securities client relationships and will proactively seek mandates from new distribution partners. He will also review the possible structures that institutions can utilise to access LaSalleÆs open-end funds, and in the future, its closed-end funds.

Nishimura joins LaSalle from Credit Suisse Securities in Japan where he was responsible for the sales of fixed income and alternative investment products to major Japanese financial institutions. His product range included real estate funds, hedge funds and private equity funds, together with cash and synthetic collateralised debt obligations, collateralised loan obligations, asset-backed securities, commercial mortgage-backed securities and residential mortgage-backed securities. He also spent time in Credit SuisseÆs London office where he was assigned to cover Japanese institutional investors in London.

Prior to Credit Suisse, Nishimura worked for Morgan Stanley in Tokyo where he reviewed and approved all non-recourse loans to be securitised, and advised the investment banking mergers and acquisitions department on cash projections, capital structure and credit approval. Prior to that, he had a number of roles at Mizuho Corporate Bank based both in the US and Tokyo.

Japan is among LaSalleÆs key focuses in Asia. Last month, the firm closed its LaSalle Asia Opportunity Fund III, which raised a total of $3 billion. With leverage, the potential buying power of the developed Asia-focused real estate fund will be $10 billion to $12 billion. The fund, launched in 2007, is an opportunistic fund that focuses on investing in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and China.

In late-2007, LaSalle Investment Management closed its LaSalle Japan Logistics Fund II, which raised Ñ90 billion ($820 million), with a total buying power of Ñ260 billion to Ñ360 billion ($2.4 billion to $3.3 billion) including leverage. That fund is an opportunistic fund currently investing capital. It focuses on investment opportunities in industrial properties across Japan and is second in this series of funds. Its predecessor, Japan Logistics Fund, launched in 2004 and is currently managing assets.

La Salle sees a lot of opportunity in Japan, which contains 50% of the total value of real estate assets in Japan, Korea, China and elsewhere in Asia-Pacific.

LaSalle Investment Management, which is part of the Jones Lang LaSalle group, has $54.1 billion in assets under management worldwide. It is active across a range of real estate capital and operating markets including private and public, debt and equity.