Tony Miller has been appointed as the president and chief executive officer of the newly formed Pacific Alliance Japan Limited, which will be opening an office in Tokyo in the next few weeks.

He joins from alternative fund management company Ramius LLC, which has recently been merged into US-based Cowen and Co. He will remain a senior advisor to Ramius, but will spend most of his time with Pacific Alliance, where he has previously acted as an outside director.

Pacific Alliance earlier this year made a $45 million investment in Tokyo real estate manager Secured Capital Japan. According to its stock market valuation, the value of that investment has tripled, and the two firms plan to invest $800 million of cash firepower in stressed and distressed property deals. The Pacific Alliance contribution to that will come from Pacific Alliance's $1.4 billion Asian Opportunity Fund. In the next 12 months, a new distressed fund may be on the cards for Pacific Alliance and it would make an allocation to Japan.

"There used to be lots of players in this part of the real estate market," says Miller. "Now there are only half a dozen left. Bankruptcies are taking place among real estate companies, and there is good value in the sector."

 The new office will start out with six employees and Miller will be joining Jun Daikuhara, the chairman of Pacific Alliance Japan who formerly worked at Shinsei Bank.