EDITOR'S LETTER: New frontiers

In a speech accepting the Democratic nomination ahead of the 1960 US presidential election, John F Kennedy famously spoke of new frontiers. “We stand today on the edge of a new frontier…the frontier of unknown opportunities and perils,” he said. “Beyond that frontier are uncharted areas…”

Kennedy’s speech – at least, select parts of it – came to mind for several reasons as I was putting together this month’s issue. First off, all three of PERE’s regional commentaries deal with investment opportunities in markets that are considered emerging, frontier or just plain out of favor.

In Intellectual Property on p. 10, Zoe Hughes talks about how Brazil has become one of the hottest emerging markets for investment, but foreign investor seem to be having a hard time adjusting their return expectations to realities on the ground. Then, in Asiaview on p. 22, Jonathan Brasse explores how new opportunities in the frontier markets of West Africa will take a leap of faith on the part of investors in order to get any traction. And in Eurozone on p. 16, Robin Marriott takes a look at an unusual effort by Spain to kick-start its floundering residential sector and why there is a disconnect with the private real estate community.

Beyond those examples, Texas Teachers also is blazing a new frontier. Beginning on p. 26, Zoe sits down with the pension’s private markets team, led by Steve LeBlanc, to discuss its investment strategy and vision for the real estate portfolio. Dubbed the “Texas Way,” the pension’s philosophy is a prime example of an LP forging a new path in the future of LP-GP relationships.

Speaking of relationships, the consulting industry is undergoing a bit of an overhaul in terms of the types of firms LPs are seeking and the services they are offering. Starting on p. 34, Robin examines how an elite group of senior specialist consultants are emerging as the preferred purveyors of advice.

Lastly, I want to thank Zoe for all of her contributions to PERE over the past couple of years, as she is leaving the publication to explore her own new frontier as program manager for PERE’s conferences in the Americas. I’m sure those of you who have worked with her in the past will continue to do so in her new role.

I also want to introduce James Comtois, who joined us last month to pick up Zoe’s coverage of the Americas. He has big shoes to fill, but I’m confident he will grow into them in time. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to him and make him feel welcome.

Enjoy the issue