Itsu, the Japanese sushi bar chain, has appointed Landen Prescott Brann, former finance director at PepsiCo UK & Ireland, as its new chief financial officer as it gears up for further growth. Prescott Brann joins the company, which was co-founded by Julian Metcalfe and Clive Schlee, from the Hospital Club, the London-based creative hub, where he held the roles of chief executive and chief financial officer. He previously spent seven years with drinks firm PepsiCo, which included a stint as chief financial officer for the UK & Ireland. Itsu is on course to operate 35 sites across London by the end of March. The company currently operates 31 sites under its smaller fast casual format and two restaurants in Chelsea and Notting Hill. It is set to open further sites under the smaller format near Baker Street and in Horseferry Road over the next month. The chain, which is led by Gerard Loughran, plans to take its estate past the 40 mark this year and hopes to open 10-12 sites in 2012, including the launch of its first outlet outside the capital, with UK shopping centres possible targets. All the new openings are expected to be under the group’s smaller, fast casual format. It is also thought to be working on joint venture vehicles to expand the chain into Paris and another overseas territory.