If this is the golden age for investing in alternative assets, then judging from the magazine newsstands these days, the same could be said for writing about alternative assets as well. Last month, Condé Nast Portfolio, a new magazine covering the financial industry, unveiled its debut issue, complete with a 7,500-word epic from celebrated author Tom Wolfe. The man who once wrote about LSD culture in 1960s San Francisco has now turned his attention to those on a different kind of trip: hedge fund managers. At this point, it's unclear what is more frightening.
Last month also saw another Condé Nast publication get in on the alternative asset extravaganza. In its April issue, Vanity Fair published a column by Michael Wolff entitled ?Serious Money,? which detailed the author's cynical view of the private equity boom. Take a look at the first sentence of the subhead: ?Astronomical returns, negligible risk, gold-plated cachet?only a loser would sit out the private-equity bubble.?
Of course, just in case you thought all private equity moguls were nothing but greedy capitalists, the magazine also included a two-page picture spread of Barry Sternlicht. The private equity real estate mogul was pictured overlooking the construction site of his environmentally friendly ?1? hotel in New York City. This was, after all, Vanity Fair's annual ?green? issue. And in this case, green did not equal money.
(In our own nod to environmental issues, I should note that PERE itself is now printed on ?green? paper and all our inks are vegetable-based. It is unclear if the same can be said for Condé Nast's publications.)
The migration of alternative assets from the fringes of the business world to the forefront of the popular press has occurred with almost stunning speed. And it has, in many ways, validated our core thesis that private equity real estate is a rapidly maturing, global industry with the need for a substantive publication of its own.
This month, we celebrate our largest issue ever with a brand-new interior design to complement the new cover treatment we introduced last month. The same incisive content with (what we hope) is a sleeker, easier-to-read layout. Enjoy the golden age while it lasts.
And enjoy the issue as well,
By Paul Fruchbom