Aberdeen Standard Investments has bolstered its presence in Japan, appointing a head of direct real estate for the country and securing regulatory approval to offer investment products to local institutional investors.

The Edinburgh-headquartered investment manager has acquired financial instruments business licences that enable it to market private-markets and offshore funds to Japanese investors and hired Hidetoshi Ono from Manulife.

The moves come several months after Aberdeen Standard acquired Orion Partners, expanding its Asia-Pacific real estate business.

Aberdeen Asset Management, which merged with Standard Life Investments in 2017, has a long established indirect multi-manager arm in Asia-Pacific, but Kang Puay Ju, head of real estate for Asia-Pacific and global head of real estate multi-manager, has more recently been tasked with establishing a direct real estate business in the region.

“Japan is an important component of our global and Asia Pacific real estate strategies,” she said.

“As one of the largest markets in the world, it offers attractive return potential for investors across asset classes, such as multifamily, aged care and hospitality, as well as risk styles.

“Ono-san’s strong credentials and track record in the Japanese market will prove invaluable as we continue to build out our Asia-Pacific real estate investment platform following the acquisition of Orion Partners.”

Hidetoshi Ono was most recently managing director for Japan Real Estate at Manulife, and has previously worked for AXA Investment Managers, ING Real Estate (now CBRE Global Investors), General Electric and Mitsui Fudosan.

Neil Slater, CEO and representative director of Aberdeen Standard Investments Japan, said the appointment gave “further momentum to our continuing investment and expansion in Japan”.

He added: “Obtaining new regulatory licenses, together with the added ability of local direct real estate investment for both our global and local clients, reflects our intent to build a long-term, sustainable business in Japan.”