West Palm Beach (HedgeCo.net) Former Merrill Lynch banker Jun Mihara, 45, has announced plans to launch a fund to invest in Asian distressed debt. Mihara was hired by Zais Group LLC of Red Bank, NJ last month to serve as its chief investment officer to raise capital for the new venture.
Under his new role, he will oversee the raising of 50 to 100 yen ($1.1 billion) to purchase discounted Japanese real estate, distressed assets, and securities backed by commercial mortgages. In particular, the fund will look to accumulate AAA-rated debt backed by real estate, purchasing it primarily from Japanese Banks as they try to avoid refinancing risk stemming from falling property values.
Mihara, who left Merrill in July, was best known at his former firm for organizing asset-backed debt sales on behalf of several Japanese gaming outfits.
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