The flurry of investment and fundraising activity by The Blackstone Group last year has convinced the private equity real estate industry to vote the New York-based private equity and real estate titan to eight wins in the 2011 Global PERE Awards.
Blackstone’s co-heads of real estate, Jonathan Gray and Chad Pike, shared the honour of Global Industry Figure of the Year, while Gray also was acknowledged as North America Industry Figure of the Year. In addition, the firm itself took top honours as Firm of the Year in North America and Europe, as well as globally.
The accolades bestowed on Blackstone and its real estate team reflect the firm’s dominance in 2011. It was a particularly active investor in the US and Europe last year, snapping up nearly every large portfolio put on the market. Indeed, the firm’s $9.4 billion purchase of the US assets of Centro Properties Group earned it North America Deal of the Year honours, while its £480 million acquisition of Chiswick Park in the UK garnered recognition as Europe Deal of the Year. In fact, the only award it missed out on was for Asia Deal of the Year, where its acquisition of Valad Property Group came in second to Invesco Real Estate’s takeover of AIG Global Real Estate’s Asia business.
Blackstone’s final award, North America Capital Raise of the Year, recognised the firm’s fundraising prowess in 2011, a year in which many fund managers found it more challenging to attract capital following the political and macroeconomic turmoil of last summer. Blackstone, however, faced no such difficulty with Blackstone Real Estate Partners (BREP) VII, which was launched in the spring and had attracted $6 million in equity by year’s end. The fund, which is likely to become the largest closed-end real estate fund ever, held an official second close on more than $10 billion in commitments at the end of last month. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Park Hill Real Estate Group landed the award for North America Placement Agent of the Year, in large part for its work on BREP VII.
In other notable categories, Richard Ellis was recognised for its $1 billion takeover of ING Real Estate Investment Management in Global Deal of the Year and Fortress Investment Group was honoured as Asia Firm of the Year for its activity in Japan. Lastly, APG Asset Management picked up two awards, one for Europe Institutional Investor of the Year and the other for Europe Industry Figure of the Year, which recognised its outspoken leader Patrick Kanters.
For the complete results of the 2011 Global PERE Awards, along with mini profiles on the winning firms and individuals, click here.