Big names, big awards

Voting in the 2012 Global PERE Awards confirms the real estate industry’s shift towards larger, better-known players. Winners include Blackstone, CPPIB, Patron and Brookfield.

If last year’s PERE awards demonstrated a return to big brands, this year’s voting confirmed the shift to larger, better-known players. Indeed, marquee names like The Blackstone Group, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Patron Capital won multiple awards, while industry stalwarts like Brookfield Asset Management, Global Logistic Properties (GLP), Partners Group and Lone Star Funds also garnered recognition.

For 2012, Blackstone won four Global PERE Awards – down from the firm’s impressive haul of eight prizes for 2011, but still the most by any firm. The New York-based firm grabbed Global Firm of the Year honors for its numerous big-ticket acquisitions around the world, as well as Global Capital Raise of the Year for Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII, which attracted $7.3 billion of its $13.3 billion total equity haul in 2012. It is pretty hard to argue that Blackstone didn’t deserve to win those categories.

Blackstone also was recognized for North America Deal of the Year for its takeover of the CalWest portfolio, and for Europe Exit of the Year for its sale of student housing business Nido. Those categories arguably were less clear-cut in who the winner should be, but PERE readers still made a persuasive call in picking BX. 

In Europe, the big story was Patron. The London-based firm closed on the largest opportunistic fundraising in Europe last year, and won the Europe Capital Raise of the Year award. The firm also was involved in one of the more interesting deals of 2012 – the takeover of Uni-Invest and its office portfolio. Teaming up with TPG Capital, Patron executed the first known credit bid involving a CMBS deal. It is now working to recapitalize the Dutch property company, a feat for which the two firms shared Europe Deal of the Year honors.

Among institutional investors, CPPIB took home the Global award for its many jumbo investments around the world, including backing GLP in its purchase of two jumbo industrial portfolios in Brazil – 2012’s Global Deal of the Year. The Canadian pension was particularly active in Asia and Australia, leading it to also be honored as Asia Institutional Investor of the Year. In fact, while many large global investors were pretty busy in 2012, the only institution that even came close to CPPIB in terms of activity was the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, which took home the Europe Institutional Investor of the Year award.

Newer players, however, weren’t completely shut out, managing to snag an award here and there. The most notable was ARA Asset Management, which landed the Asia Firm of the Year award on the strength of its second fundraising and a large separate account with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

These are just some of the highlights of this year’s outcome, and now it’s time for the big reveal you’ve all been waiting for: to view the complete results of the 2012 Global PERE Awards, along with brief profiles on all the winning firms and individuals, click here.