Last month, alongside new memoirs by such well-known names as US Senator Barack Obama, The Corrections author Jonathan Franzen and humorist and travel writer Bill Bryson, another less-anticipated book hit the shelves at Barnes & Noble. Titled The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived, the supposedly serious book ranked the characters of fiction, legend and advertising that have had the most impact in the history of the world. The authors' pick for number one? The Marlboro Man.
This month, Private Equity Real Estate presents a similar list, although hopefully one with a bit more relevance to our readers: the most influential people in the history of the private equity real estate industry. After consultation with industry practitioners around the world, our editorial team distilled those responses into a list of the 30 people who have had the most impact on the development of the asset class. Turn to p. 31 to see who made the cut.
As The PERE 30 makes clear, private equity real estate is now a global industry—our selections ranged from heads of state in the Middle East to institutional investors in Asia. Nowhere was the global reach of the industry more evident than last month in Hong Kong, where the inaugural MIPIM Asia event took place. PERE was there to press the flesh and gawk at the displays of massive developments underway in China, Bahrain and South Korea. We even found time to drink some champagne and investigate private equity real estate interest in the local property market (p. 44).
Speaking of the global real estate industry—to say nothing of influential people or books—let's not overlook Muammar Gaddafi. In 1976, the Libyan leader published a manifesto, The Green Book, which outlined his ideals for a socialist-Islamic state. Today, however, he and his son are promoting a huge real estate development on the border of Tunisia (p. 4). Given Gaddafi's recent change of heart—giving up his quest for weapons of mass destruction, renouncing terrorism—perhaps the former opponent of the West is becoming a capitalist. Libya's long stretch of Mediterranean coastline and lush beaches may soon attract other real estate investors as well. So decades from now, who knows, perhaps Gaddafi will also go down as one of the most influential people in the world of private equity real estate.
Ponder that and enjoy the issue,