The Blackstone Group remained the firm to beat for PERE’s tenth awards competition, which attracted nearly 4,100 unique votes this year across 44 categories. Once again, the world’s largest private equity real estate firm took home more awards than any winner this year – racking up a total of eight wins. Yet other firms, notably Starwood Capital Group, closed the gap.
Blackstone locked in three of the biggest wins, including global firm of the year, global deal of the year for its $23 billion acquisition of GE Capital’s real estate assets with Wells Fargo and global capital raise of the year for its staggering $15.8 billion equity haul for its latest global real estate fund, Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII.
The New York-based firm also was the recipient of five regional awards, including Latin America firm of the year, UK firm of the year, Southern Europe firm of the year, Australia firm of the year and India firm of the year.
Yet Blackstone rival Starwood made a strong showing in this year’s awards, scooping up five trophies – including in several key categories where they were vying against Blackstone for the honor.
In one major upset, Barry Sternlicht trumped Jonathan Gray as global industry figure of the year, and the Greenwich, Connecticut firm also beat out Blackstone for North America firm of the year, North America deal of the year, for its $5.4 billion apartment acquisition from Equity Residential, as well as Europe firm of the year. Additionally, Starwood won honors for North American industry figure of the year for Christopher Graham, its head of acquisitions for the Americas.
Other notable repeat winners included Gaw Capital Partners, which received three honors for Asia industry figure of the year, Asia firm of the year and China firm of the year; Tristan Capital Partners, which also was a three-time winner this year for Europe industry figure of the year, Europe capital raise of the year and Germany firm of the year; and Partners Group, which won the multi-manager of the year categories in North America, Europe and Asia. On the institutional investor side, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and China Investment Corporation claimed two wins each, for global and Europe institutional investor of the year, and Asia institutional investor of the year and Asia deal of the year, respectively.
Click HERE to read our full coverage, which details which fund managers, investors, advisors and transactions took top honors and why.