EDITOR'S LETTER: The heat is on

European conference, TIAA-CREF hooked up with Henderson to form a new global platform and Evelyn Lee got the scoop on probably the biggest real estate secondaries deal in the US ever. Meanwhile, Lone Star and Carlyle are doing their bit to convince us that mega-funds are back, and New York has taken the competition for core assets into the stratosphere with the return of $1 billion-plus deals. Of course, you can find analysis of all these developments inside this month’s issue.

Among  all these big trends, something has become abundantly clear: investors and fund managers have put the US, Europe and Asia into very distinct buckets in terms of what stages of the investment cycle the three regions have reached. In the US, big distressed deals pretty much have run their course, and now it’s about backing growth plays, picking secondary locations or perhaps delving into alternative properties. In Asia, it is about growth and development, while Europe is focused on stressed situations.

Perhaps the clearest explanation of the chronology of changing markets comes from TPG’s Kelvin Davis. In this month’s Blueprint interview, starting on page 28, the leader of the buyout giant’s real estate team charts the deals made by the firm so far, and they paint a very clear picture indeed. The deal book printed alongside the interview is a great shortcut to understanding how opportunistic firms have changed targets since 2008.

We also pick up on the ever-present alternative real estate scene. Often, alternative strategies play to macroeconomic cycles as well as social forces in areas such as self-storage. Our special report on alternative property, from page 36 onwards, even includes a look at Asia, where clearly there is first-mover advantage.

What other trends are we spotting? Well, speaking of Asia, it seems that more than a handful of firms are now gaining traction in fundraising. Such firms, though, would do well to read Jonathan Brasse’s account of one fund that went horribly wrong. Beginning on page 8, the story of Winnington Capital’s Trophy Property fund concerns 140 disgruntled LPs and is a cautionary tale of how not to run a China vehicle.

Last but not least, starting on page 47, we investigate the latest from the Nordics, where there is plenty to get excited about. After all, what’s not to like about a region where the largest private Danish pension is going international and a Swedish government pension is putting more capital in alternatives, including property-related assets?

Enjoy the issue and see you in September,

Robin Marriott
Editor, PERE