AB Capital Hires EQT Exeter’s Kusumine Enami to Lead Japan Office (Mingtiandi)


Kusumine Enami, AB Capital

Kusumine Enami, managing partner and Japan representative at AB Capital Investment



Hong Kong-based AB Capital Investment has strengthened its team in the firm’s target market of Japan with the hiring of Kusumine Enami as country head and managing partner. Enami joins the hospitality-focused private equity firm from EQT Exeter, where he led overall real estate investment in sectors spanning hospitality, office, residential, logistics and property-related corporates, AB Capital said Monday.


As Japan representative, Enami will draw on his experience managing a broad range of transactions in Asia’s second-largest economy — including the development of the Four Seasons Hotel Okinawa and the recapitalisation of the Four Seasons Hotels & Residence Kyoto — as AB Capital looks to add to its portfolio of four hotels in Tokyo and Osaka.


“With the valuable addition of Kusumine to the team, we are confident in our continued ability to provide investors with unique investment opportunities that offer attractive risk-adjusted return,” said AB Capital co-founder and CEO Alan Kam.


Compatible Culture


Before joining the real estate investment arm of Sweden’s EQT Group in 2021, Enami held property-related posts at Malaysia’s Berjaya Land, US-based Fortress Investment Group and Japanese giant Sumitomo Corporation.


Alan Kam aB Capital

AB Capital co-founder and CEO Alan Kam


The electrical engineering graduate of the University of Tokyo also holds a master’s degree in financial engineering from the University of Michigan.


In a statement, Enami praised AB Capital’s local real estate knowledge and respect for native business habits, as well as the firm’s flat organisational structure and communication-driven culture.


Leaving ‘Lost Years’ Behind


According to AB Capital, Japan is undergoing a transformative phase of robust economic growth, steady inflation and rising wages, signalling an end to the country’s “Lost 30 Years” of stagnation.


Japan recorded real GDP growth at an annualised rate of 6 percent in this year’s second quarter, driven by solid car exports and the tailwind from post-COVID foreign tourist arrivals — especially Chinese visitors, whose spending surged 143 percent in the first half of 2023 compared with levels four years earlier.


“Amidst this promising future, the tourism industry emerges as a key driver of high-growth opportunities, and AB Capital’s strategic focus on the hospitality sector in Japan has positioned us to seize this unparalleled moment,” CEO Kam said.


The firm showed its conviction with the May acquisition of its fourth asset, the APA Hotel Kamataeki-Higashi in Tokyo’s Kamata area west of Haneda Airport, for an undisclosed price. The 14-storey business hotel comprises 3,070 square metres (33,045 square feet) of gross floor area and is situated between Kamata and Keikyu-Kamata railway stations, the latter providing an eight-minute ride to the world’s fifth-busiest airport by passenger volume.


The deal added to an AB Capital portfolio that includes two other hotels in Tokyo and one in Osaka. Using financing from local banks, Kam and co-founder Bryan Lee bought the 48-room Folio Sakura Shinsaibashi Osaka by Banyan Tree in December 2020, the 43-room Prostyle Ryokan Tokyo Asakusa in June 2021 and the 113-room Hotel LiVEMAX Shinjuku Kabukicho Meijidori in March 2022.


“Leveraging on its unique industry insights, AB Capital has already achieved notable success in the Japan hospitality sector since its inception in 2020,” Enami said. “I am so happy to join the AB Capital family and am excited to work with everyone in the firm. I am confident that together, we will continue to capture exceptional opportunities in Japan for our valued investors.”


Source: https://www.mingtiandi.com/real-estate/people/ab-capital-hires-eqt-exeters-kusumine-enami/