Editor's Letter: Masters of destiny

According to a Buddhist proverb, when the student is ready, the master appears. Or, in the case of this issue of PERE, when the student is ready, the Masters appear. That is because this issue contains the first – and we are certain not the last – feature PERE has ever produced on Masters courses for those that might aspire to enter into the real estate investment management industry or ultimately even become leaders at private equity real estate shops.

Spread across four pages of charts, there is an eye-popping level of detail that senior editor Erik Kolb has managed to assemble from leading US universities on relevant graduate-level courses. They detail everything from total cost of completing the program to average salaries that can be expected upon taking an industry job, accompanied by a feature examining what is going on inside those walls of learning.

Senior partners would do well to pay attention because this is about their hires of tomorrow. Indeed, as Erik explains, there is a case to be made for private equity real estate firms needing to get smarter in terms of their recruitment processes. These pages will kickstart that debate and even aid that process somewhat.

Meanwhile, yours truly has investigated the corresponding scene in Europe. Check out pages 38 to 44 for the whole section. However, if you want one takeaway now, it is that the global financial crisis showed in a shocking way how important real estate is to the overall economy and that has meant greater interest among universities and students in the asset class. That can only be a good thing.

Seeing as it is back to school time not just for students but for present-day real estate professionals following the summer lull, it also seems now is a good time to take stock. As the news pages reflect, a lot of people actually have fresh beginnings in their careers. Indeed, it even feels like some entire firms, such as Morgan Stanley, are starting out anew. Jonathan Brasse examines just how much of a comeback its recent $1 billion fundraise might constitute, starting on page 8.

There’s a lot a more to digest as well. In Europe, we offer our inaugural roundtable focused on the Central and Eastern Europe market, beginning on page 46. Meanwhile, in Asia, we bring you the first interview PERE has conducted with Fosun Group, from page 32 onwards. The Chinese conglomerate is led by ‘Asia’s Warren Buffet’, who wants his firm to build an $80 billion global real estate empire. Last but not least, we even bring you up to speed on regulations and technology in the 2014 Private Real Estate Fund Service Guide, produced alongside this issue.

Speaking of fresh starts, I have made one myself, having relocated from London to New York this summer. I look forward to sharing a bagel and some caffeine with those of you that are in the city or elsewhere across the States in due course.

Good luck this fall,

Robin Marriott
Editor, PERE