EDITOR'S LETTER: Ready, willing and able

PERE magazine June issue 2010

There is no one in the private equity real estate world who hasn’t been affected by the real estate downturn. There are some platforms, though, that are perceived to have been more affected than others.
Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing is one of those firms regularly cited by industry professionals, after suffering significant write downs in two of its legacy funds.

However, in closing its latest opportunity vehicle, MSREF VII Global – or G7 as it is called internally – MSREI is drawing a line in the sand.

Speaking exclusively to PERE, the firm’s chief executive officer Owen Thomas and chief investment officer Jay Mantz – together with MSREI’s regional heads – talk from p. 22 about the challenges they have faced as a team over the past 18 months, and how the platform is now “ready, willing and able” to take advantage of the opportunities ahead.

MSREI’s focus in the future will primarily be targeted at the US, Japan and Western Europe, including the UK – a country that was the focus of an in-depth PERE roundtable last month, chaired by PERENews.com editor Jonathan Brasse and presented on p. 41 of this issue.

Held on the morning of the UK’s general election on 6 May, the three roundtable participants predicted the fallout for real estate of a hung parliament, and the subsequent establishment of a coalition government – the first in Britain since the Second World War.
As the UK government – and for that matter MSREI – look to the future, it’s crucial they learn lessons from the past.
But it’s also vital to get on with the job in hand. For MSREI, that’s about making “a lot of money” for investors, something Thomas expects to happen given the scale of the distress globally. For the UK government, it’s about ensuring economic stability to allow Britain to recover from a severe recession, without damaging key industries, not least its property market.