In 1986, The Wall Street Journal published a brief story about a group of brash young “whiz kids,” including a 35-year old investment banker and a 28-year old private equity pro, who were quite literally taking over the takeover business. More than 20 years later, the article seems eerily prophetic. That private equity hotshot was Tom Steyer, who now runs hedge fund heavyweight Farallon, and the banker was none other than Tony James, the current president of The Blackstone Group.
Only time will tell whether or not our special feature this month—a list of 20 rising stars in private equity real estate—will seem as prescient two decades from now. But the asset class is rapidly evolving and the current crop of industry leaders is starting to show a bit of gray (if they have any hair at all). So we anticipate that at least some of the young guns profiled within will play a central role in the asset class' evolution in the years to come. Turn to p. 34 to see who made the cut.
Back in the early 1990s, Ric Lewis was a rising star himself. As a young protégé of AEW co-founder Peter Aldrich, Lewis was an up-and-comer in the firm's Boston office before Aldrich tapped him to run an international AEW joint venture in 1999. Eight years later, that joint venture, Curzon Capital Partners, is making quite a name for itself across Europe. Beginning on p. 28, Lewis gives us his thoughts on his past, present and (hopefully) very bright future.
As Lewis relates in his coming-of-age story, raising Curzon's maiden fund was not an easy task. It's a sentiment that is no doubt shared by many first-time fund managers trying to raise capital today. Even though the property markets are awash with money, new firms are being crowded out not just by the growing number of megafunds, but also by the increasing speed with which the big boys are coming back to fill their coffers. Check out p. 50 to read about those trends and other “under-the-radar” themes in the global fundraising market.
Speaking of fundraising, Credit Suisse is currently trying to raise capital from European hedge funds and other financial institutions in order to help finance a new gaming development in Hungary (p. 4). The proposed 240-hectare complex, called EuroVegas, comes complete with five casinos, a series of hotels and a massive amusement arcade—all in the small remote town of Bezenye. Talk about shooting for the stars.
Good luck at the tables and enjoy the issue,