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ENCINO, CA-NAI Capital has formed a new Pacific Rim Division of the commercial brokerage that will focus on representing commercial real estate investors from the Pacific Rim region who want to invest in US real estate.The company, which is the Southern California affiliate of NAI Global, has named Christine Lee and Tom Nguyen to head the new division.Lee formerly was a senior adviser for Irvine-based Sperry Van Ness and Nguyen is a real estate attorney who formerly was president of Orange County-based Realco Commercial Inc., a commercial real estate brokerage.Lee and Nguyen say the primary focus of the Pacific Rim Division will be to address the growing volume of transactions in the US that are closed by either a seller or buyer that is from the Pacific Rim region. Nguyen explains that investors from the region who now live in the US often have difficulty finding commercial real estate agents who can serve their needs.As Nguyen explains, Pacific Rim investors either deal with an established commercial firm that may not understand their culture or speak their language, or else they turn to residential agents who speak their language and understand their culture but are not necessarily experienced in commercial transactions. NAI Capital Pacific Rim plans to recruit agents who are experienced commercial brokers and who also know the language and culture of Pacific Rim countries, he says. Among the countries the division will focus on are China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea and India. In establishing the new division, NAI cites a 2003 research report by the National Association of Realtors regarding foreign Investment in US real estate. The report shows that Japan and other Asian countries represent the largest percentage of countries with direct investment positions in US real estate. Lee, who at one time was in charge of the L.A.-based office of Mitsui Trust & Banking Co. Ltd., points out that Southern California is home to a heavy concentration of Pacific Rim investors. Lee will be based at NAI Capital’s West L.A. office and Nguyen at the company’s Newport Beach office.

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