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Pantheon taps ex-Nippon Life PE head to lead Tokyo office

Akitoshi Yamada joins as managing director and head of the firm's seventh global office.

Akitoshi Yamada

Pantheon has hired Akitoshi Yamada, former head of private equity for NLI International, a subsidiary of Nippon Life Insurance, as managing director and head of its newest office in Tokyo.

Yamada was deputy general manager at Nippon Life for four years. The insurance company is one of Japan’s largest with 64.8 trillion yen ($587 billion; €503 billion) in total assets as of end-March. He led NLI’s private equity unit for two years before moving to its parent company.

Tokyo is Pantheon’s seventh global office and third in Asia after Hong Kong and Seoul.

The firm’s Tokyo team also includes Ryo Okazaki, a former manager at Mitsubishi Corporation Asset Management, who was hired as vice-president in its client service team, and Makiko Hagiwara, who joined the firm in June as compliance officer and office manager.

Paul Ward, a managing partner at Pantheon said: “Our new local presence and outstanding team will further strengthen our commitment to deliver exemplary and highly responsive service to our Japanese clients.”

Earlier this year Pantheon received a global infrastructure fund of funds mandate from the world’s largest pension fund, the $1.5 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund.

Pantheon had $38.8 billion in assets under management as of 31 December including $22 billion in primary, $11.9 billion in secondaries and $2.6 billion in co-investments, according to its website.