EDITOR'S LETTER: The year 2033

I’d like to think this magazine will still be going strong in the year 2033 (albeit in some space-age guise dreamt up by Apple), and that we will still be featuring the most senior figures in the industry. The question that provokes, though, is who will be the Sam Zells, Barry Sternlichts and Tom Barracks of tomorrow? 

Well, for some guidance on that, one could do worse than digest our feature on emerging managers you can find in this issue, starting on page 38. These past few weeks, our crack team of hacks in New York and London has been sounding out contacts from across the world asking for suggestions on the ‘ones to watch’…and the results can be seen here. Eliciting suggestions (or should that be ‘soliciting’!) has been both a fun and testing exercise given the divergent views of professionals and the very different types of firms put forward. But one takeaway is that the US, Europe and Asia are certainly yielding successful fund managers that have emerged out of the ashes of the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.

One can almost imagine future interviews with some of these folk. “We started this business when the world was going to hell in a hand basket. Lehman Brothers had gone, and there was a bloodbath, and we – perhaps crazily, looking back upon it – decided to launch our first fund in that environment.” 

No doubt one of the major themes these stars of tomorrow will look back upon will be ‘debt’, or lack of it. Like them, we also acknowledge the hugely significant force and major opportunity that has presented itself in real estate finance, which is why we also publish alongside this issue the 2012 Guide to Special Situations and Debt Funds. It provides an excellent snapshot of the way firms are exploiting the so-called debt void.

As far as the rest of this issue is concerned, there is plenty more to digest, from the way Toronto-based Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is investing globally (page 10) to the creation finally of a ‘bad bank’ in Spain to deal with up to €90 billion of real estate assets (page 18). You can also find our usual diet of people news, fund launches, trends and views. 

Whatever people in these pages are doing right – whether it be picking markets, timing investments to perfection, skilfully adding value to assets, or showing unique knowledge in a particular asset class, we look forward to seeing where they end up in a generation’s time.

Enjoy the issue.

While not promising to be around in 2033, I think I can promise to see you in 2013.