Once again, Blackstone dominated the 12th Global PERE Awards, clinching eight wins in this year’s competition. But while Blackstone’s strong showing was no surprise, the award winners were not always so easy to predict.
In the global segment of the awards, for example, the wins were actually a toss-up between the New York-based private equity giant and its nearest rival, Greenwich, Connecticut’s Starwood Capital Group. For example, Firm of the Year – a category that Blackstone has locked up in previous years and in which it was the runner-up this year – went to Starwood, as did Capital Raise of the Year, for Starwood Global Distressed Opportunity Fund XI. Blackstone, meanwhile, maintained its hold over Global Industry Figure of the Year for its then-global head of real estate, Jon Gray, as well as Deal of the Year, for Blackstone’s €12.25 billion sale of Logicor to CIC.
Blackstone and Starwood, the latter of which picked up a total of four awards, were far from the only multiple-trophy winners in the 2017 Global PERE Awards, however. In the Europe segment, industry newcomer Henderson Park prevailed above more established competitors to win the Industry Figure of the Year for founder Nick Weber, as well as UK Firm of the Year. In Asia, GIC Private and Gaw Capital Partners, two perennial favorites among voters, walked away with the honors for Industry Figure of the Year for Lee Kok Sun and Institutional Investor of the Year; and Capital Raise of the Year and China Firm of the Year, respectively.
Law firm Clifford Chance was another big winner, matching Starwood’s tally with awards for Law Firm of the Year: Fund Formation across all three regions, as well as the law firm – transactions in Europe.
And who will be receiving the torch from Barry Sternlicht, winner of PERE’s inaugural lifetime achievement award last year? None other than Patrick Kanters, global head of real assets at APG Asset Management, whose parent company, Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, is now the second-largest real estate investor on PERE’s Global Investor 50 ranking in 2017, with its $45.11 billion allocation to the asset class. At just 49 years old, Kanters is already a 24-year industry veteran, but like Sternlicht, seems to have many fruitful years ahead of him.
Click here to see the winners in full.