We’ve been crunching the numbers to find out the most-read stories of 2018. The results tell us what you, our loyal and valued readers, want to know about the world’s real estate equity market. Below are the top 10 stories and our take on why they mattered.

  1. Thirty capital raisers who can make a difference: The runaway winner, PERE’s first Rainmaker 30 listing of capital-facing executives stole your attention more than any other article we produced. Did declining capital raising numbers have anything to do with that?
  1. PERE50: Property’s loftiest managers: You love a good list, don’t you? PERE’s first signature ranking, introduced more than a decade ago, maintained its pulling power in 2018. Given greater institutional support for fewer managers, it is easy to see why. In 2018, the PERE50 fundraising total aggregated at $333.75bn, almost 20 percent more equity than in 2017.
  1. How to make partner at Blackstone: The PERE 50’s perennial champion with $49.8 billion raised at last count has been a juggernaut in the sector. Who makes top grade there is, thus, naturally going to be of interest, evidenced by this story about the partner total extending to 29. Expect that figure to grow further with Blackstone growing its accommodation to house them via the leasing of a further 150,000 square feet at its New York headquarters at 345 Park Avenue this week, as reported this week.
  1. Blackstone’s Gray: “You need to buy things that will grow faster:” When Blackstone’s prodigal son Jon Gray speaks, people listen. Hence, when the firm’s recently promoted president said US and Spanish housing, Indian offices, global logistics and life science offices deserved conviction bets on an earnings call in April, the coverage captured the clicks.
  1. Inside Goldman’s $10bn RE equity business: Before Blackstone dominated private real estate, Wall Street’s investment banks held custody, led by Goldman Sachs’ Real Estate Principal Investment Area and its Whitehall Street fund series. It has been a decade since $2.3 billion was raised for the last Whitehall fund, International 2008. What has the bank’s real estate platform been up to since? PERE was told what by platform boss James Garman.
  1. BlackRock global RE head to depart: PERE revealed Marcus Sperber, the asset management titan’s global head of real estate was leaving in October, placing the stewardship of the $24 platform in the hands of real assets chief Jim Barry. The news brought the spotlight back onto the $6.4 trillion organization and, with that, questions about how it should compete with rival giants. 
  1. JPMorgan to open world’s largest RE fund to foreign investors: This was one of the most notable real estate capital markets events in the year. When investment bank JPMorgan stepped up plans to open the doors to its ODCE index-leading JPMorgan Strategic Property Fund – the world’s biggest property fund with $43 billion of GAV – sources familiar with the vehicle foretold of a deluge of inflows, one suggesting the fund might even reach $60 billion before too long.
  1. This is our second chance to get it right:” Ex-Morgan Stanley bosses Sony Kalsi and John Carrafiell take nothing for granted after a small handful of loyal investors gave them another go at running a private equity real estate firm – GreenOak Real Estate. They told their story to PERE’s Evelyn Lee and you read it in your thousands.
  1. Starwood holds largest ever final close for fund XI: You’ve demonstrated time and again how much you like a good fundraising story, especially when it is exclusive. Unsurprisingly, Barry Sternlicht’s heavyweight Starwood Capital held your attention on the news of it capturing $7.6 billion for Starwood Global Opportunity Fund XI, blasting past its $5 billion-$6 billion target.
  1. Japan’s GPIF announced its first global real estate manager: It’s the world’s largest pension fund with total assets under management of $1.4 trillion. Obviously, when and how it finally engaged a private real estate strategy was going to rank highly with you. So it proved when, in September, the investor awarded CBRE Global Investors as its first manager alongside Asset Management One as gatekeeper.