EDITOR'S LETTER: No shortage of news

February may be the shortest month of the year, but this past month certainly was not short on private equity real estate news. Between the announcement of the merger between CBRE Investors and ING Real Estate Investment Management and numerous stories on fund closings and new launches, including a mammoth fundraise planned by The Blackstone Group, it seemed like there were barely enough days in the month to keep up with it all.
But keep up, we did. This issue is proof of that.

First up is another special report on the CBRE-ING REIM merger. Now that the deal officially has been announced, what more can we possibly say? It turns out, quite a bit.

Robin Marriott meets with CBRE’s Matt Khourie and ING REIM’s Pieter Hendrikse to get the post-mortem on the mega-deal that will create a $96 billion investment management behemoth. In their first joint meeting since the announcement, the pair discussed why the merger works for both parties, which senior posts have been determined, what the timetable is for integration and how the newly combined firm is winning its investors over again.

Next, Zoe Hughes explores the investment opportunities and challenges of Brazil’s real estate markets. Like other emerging markets, Brazil has its own idiosyncrasies that can make deals, joint ventures and equity investments as risky as they are financially rewarding. Starting on p. 32, seven of the larger players in the market revealed their strategies, hopes and concerns, as well as the need to balance fears of a bubble against real estate realities on the ground.

Lastly, Robin Marriott presides over this year European roundtable, where five pan-European professionals discussed how currency and country-specific risk are shaping their strategy for the Continent. From which markets look attractive and what investors want from their GPs to the pricing of assets and the available of financing, the roundtable participants touched on all the salient issues.

Beyond those features, the PERE team also brings you news about the Rockpoint Group’s plans for its latest opportunity fund, how Doughty Hanson is tying its newest investments to Europe’s love of football and what exactly Jack Chandler of LaSalle Investment Management is going to be doing in his new role as global chief investment officer.

And don’t forget to check out the winners of our 2010 Global PERE Awards in the accompanying Awards & Annual Review issue. It’s a must-read!

Enjoy the issue,

Erik Kolb
Senior Editor, Real Estate
PERE and PERENews.com