PERE Awards: Will Grayken, Sternlicht lose out to real estate newcomers?

A heated battle has emerged for PERE’s prestigious title of global industry figure of the year between Lone Star’s John Grayken, Starwood’s Barry Sternlicht, CIC’s Lou Jiwei and Vision Brazil Investment’s Rodrigo Abbud.

2009 was a brutal year for all real estate investors, irrespective of where, and what, they invested in. Clinching the title of PERE global industry figure of the year therefore holds even more prestige this year than in previous contests.

However, assumptions that it could be easy ride for stalwarts John Grayken, founder of Lone Star Funds, and Barry Sternlicht, founder of Starwood Capital, have been dispelled by initial analysis of the voting to date.

According to an early glimpse of voting trends, the duo are facing tough competition not only from Lou Jiwei, chairman and chief executive officer of the Chinese sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corporation, but also from Rodrigo Abbud, portfolio manager at Sao Paulo-based property, debt and agriculture investment firm Vision Brazil Investments.

In October last year, Vision closed its debut real estate fund on $210 million, raising more than half the capital since September 2008.

The PERE Awards 2009 are the only industry awards to allow readers to nominate individuals, firms and deals, with Abbud proving a strong candidate against Grayken, Sternlicht and Jiwei in the global industry figure of the year category.

In Asia, readers have again used their ability to nominate candidates to give strong backing to MGPA’s Asia head of corporate finance Brett Straatemeier and Asia chief executive officer Simon Treacy as PERE’s Asia industry figure of the year. Both are now battling it out for pole position against ING Real Estate Investment Management’s Asia chief executive officer Richard Price and Andie Kang, investment manager, real estate, at the National Pension Service of Korea.

Voting for the awards is open for just three more weeks, so register your vote – and nomination – NOW by clicking here.

This year we have presented four suggestions in each category to aid the voting process, but the fifth box is the most important. If you believe an alternative person, deal or firm should win, use your vote to say so. Remember, you don't have to vote in every region or category: just the ones relevant to you.

So who do you think stood out from the crowd in 2009?

To vote in the PERE Awards 2009 Global categories, please click here.

To vote in the PERE Awards 2009 North American categories, please click here.

To vote in the PERE Awards 2009 European categories, please click here.

To vote in the PERE Awards 2009 Asian categories, please click here.

Voting closes on 22 January 2010. Results will be published simultaneously on and in March issue of PERE magazine. Click here for more details on the PERE Awards 2009.