President and CEO
Ken Aoyama founded Samurai Capital in 2009 as President and CEO of the firm.
Prior to Samurai Capital, he worked at Morgan Stanley from 2001 to 2009 as Head of core type real estate investment platform.
His responsibilities included fund arrangement, fund raising, acquisitions, and asset management.
Ken was also Chief Investment Officer of MS Real Estate Advisors, which was established to manage private open-ended J-REIT.
He also led many transactions, including sourcing, acquisitions and asset management of real estate for Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund (MSREF).
Before joining Morgan Stanley, Ken was with Sumitomo Realty from 1993 to 1998, where he managed development projects of office/commercial properties in Japan.
He provides advices to clients on the balance between creative solutions and implementation plans backed by detailed financial analysis.
Ken Aoyama acquired his MBA from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Keio University. Executive Committee member of ULI Japan.
Senior Managing Director, COO
Norio Yoshijima joined Samurai Capital in May 2017.
He previously served as Executive Director in the Investment Banking Division of Morgan Stanley (currently Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities) since 2006 and was responsible for various investment and advisory services to real estate-related clients, including IPO, fund raising, structured finance and M&A. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, he worked in the Investment Banking Division of Merrill Lynch Japan since 2002. He also established his own firm, Metropolitan Renaissance in 2014.
Norio Yoshijima received a Ph. D in Urban Engineering from the University of Tokyo and a Master of Architectural Engineering from Kyoto University.
Senior Managing Director, CFO
Haruhiko Maekawa joined Samurai Capital in May 2021.He previously worked in the global capital markets division for Tokyo Star Bank from 2012 to 2021. He supported corporate executives in setting up corporate strategies and business planning. After that, he supervised the ALM operation, cash management and trading departments. From 2005 to 2012, he has worked for Duet Alternative Investments, Merrill Lynch Securities (currently BofA Securities) and JP Morgan Securities and was responsible for a wide range of tasks such as real estate investment, non-recourse financing, securitization and investor reporting. Prior to that, he worked for Industrial Bank of Japan (currently Mizuho Bank) focused on ALM and trading interest futures. Haruhiko Maekawa acquired his BA in Economics from Keio University.
Tomoaki Yamada joined Samurai Capital in March 2023. He was with the real estate investment group at Morgan Stanley from 2000-2012, heading its Asset Management team and responsible for acquisitions and dispositions. From 2012, he set up his own real estate consulting company Bliss Link, and also became advisor to Biken Techno, including the role of CEO in its property management arm Best Property until 2021, where he engaged in property management of assets owned on behalf of real estate funds and REITs. He started his career at JR East, involved in construction, design, planning, project management and valuation of JR’s mixed-used station facilities and residential developments from 1992-2000. Tomoaki Yamada acquired his BS degree from Waseda University’s Department of Architecture and is a qualified Class 1 Architect and licensed Real Estate Appraiser.
Keen Chung Lo joined Samurai Capital in March 2022. He was previously with Global Student Accommodation (GSA) Group from 2014-2020, joining them in Hong Kong and relocating to Japan to support market entry and the establishment of GSA Star Asia’s JV. Prior to that, he was with the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) in Hong Kong, involved in the firm’s JV funds in value-add office and logistics development in Japan. Before that, he was with CBRE Japan and Asia Pacific Land (APL) Japan. He is from New York City, acquired his BS in Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell University, his MBA from the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University, and holds a Japanese Real Estate Transaction Agent’s License.
Tatsuo Soma joined Samurai Capital in May 2023. Previously, he was with Cushman & Wakefield Asset Management from 2014 to 2022, managing large-scale mixed-use properties and logistics facilities on behalf of domestic and overseas investors. Between 2007 and 2014, he was with Morimoto and Tosei Asset Advisors in acquisitions, asset management, and fund management, involved with development and securitization projects. Most recently, he was with Idera Capital Management’s Asset Management team as Deputy Manager overseeing cash management and operations of ski resort and hotel properties. Tatsuo Soma has a Master’s in Architecture and Building Engineering from Tokai University Graduate School.
Ryook Kim joined Samurai Capital in June 2016.
Prior to her current post, she worked for the Acquisition Group at Aetos Japan LLC from 2010 to 2016, engaged in the real estate investment business. Her main responsibilities included underwriting and structuring, as well as execution, investor relations, and debt financing. Before joining Aetos, Ryook was with Merrill Lynch Japan Securities as a member of the Global Principal Investments Group and the Global Structured Finance Group. She was responsible for principal investment for corporates and arrangement of securitized products. Ryook also provided M&A advisory services to various clients at the Investment Banking Division of Mizuho Securities Co, Ltd.
Ryook Kim acquired her MA and BA in Law both from Ritsumeikan University. She was also an exchange student at the University of British Columbia.
Akihisa Ueda joined Samurai Capital in January 2019. Previously he worked in Deloitte Tohmatsu’s Risk Advisory Department in real estate valuation-related advisory roles from 2015 to 2019. His main responsibilities included advising financial institutions on valuations of real estate as collateral, and supporting the auditing team’s work in real estate evaluation. Akihisa started his career in the Real Estate Finance Department of Mizuho Bank, where he worked on non-recourse loan lending related businesses from 2013-2015.
He acquired his BA in Faculty of Commerce and Management from Hitotsubashi University.
Carine Sanga has an extensive track record in the hospitality industry since 2007. At Toyoko Inn, she was involved in a wide range of tasks from launching new hotels to acting as a liaison for overseas expansion projects, while also leveraging her IT skills to drive operational efficiency. She further enriched her professional profile by completing architectural studies, which allowed her to handle interior design and branding initiatives. Subsequently, at Travelodge Hotels Asia, Carine undertook the role of Project Manager for hotel renovation projects, overseeing the entire process from contractor selection and administrative procedures, to design and construction management.
Carine earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Information Systems from the Faculty of Commerce at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Utilizing her language skills, she aims to serve as a bridge between Japan and the rest of the world.
Shuto Chatani has joined Samurai Capital in January 2022. He previously worked for Kasumigaseki Capital and Diamond Realty Management from 2019 to 2021 focused on acquisition and project management especially in development. Prior to that, he worked for Sumitomo Realty from 2017 to 2019 and his responsibilities included sourcing and asset management of office buildings. He acquired his BA in Social Science from Waseda University.
Ken Lam joined Samurai Capital in July 2023. He previously worked for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation from 2017 to 2022, with his latest responsibilities being origination and portfolio management for subscription secured finance and lender finance at the New York branch. Prior to that, he was in charge of corporate finance for small-mid sized enterprises in Tokyo. He acquired his BA in Economics from University of Washington.
Ryutaro Morita joined Samurai Capital in August 2023. He previously worked for Nomura Securities under the Investment Banking Division from 2022-2023. During his time at Nomura Securities, he covered real estate companies and REITs, analyzing and executing various transactions, including but not limited to financing and M&A deals. He acquired his BA in Economics from Keio University.