'Tis the season, it seems, for award ceremonies. Last month, movie fans were treated to the annual mutual admiration festival known as the Academy Awards, aficionados of The Police relived their glory days at the Grammys and dog lovers crowned their favorite pooch, the English springer spaniel James, at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Now, it's our turn to get in on the action. This month, Private Equity Real Estate presents The 2006 Global PERE Awards, our first annual commemoration of the people, firms and deals that shaped the industry's past year. Unlike other awards that are chosen by a select group of judges or editors, The 2006 Global PERE Awards were voted on by our readers across the globe— the only awards for the industry as voted directly by the industry. Turn to p. 27 to see if you made the cut.
One firm who did: Citigroup Property Investors, which last year raised €1.2 billion for its debut European private equity real estate fund. Spearheading Citigroup's efforts in Europe is Roger Orf, a 30-year veteran of the industry. Beginning on p. 22, he sits down with Robin Marriott to talk about his long career in real estate, his friendship with the US Treasury Secretary and his upbringing in Missouri.
Like most opportunistic property investors around the world, Citigroup is making a significant push into China. As the weight of capital intensifies in places like Shanghai and Beijing, second-tier cities such as Qingdao and Hangzhou are receiving a significant amount of attention, particularly in the hospitality sector, which is benefiting from growth in business travel and tourism. Beginning on p. 48, Aaron Lovell travels to the Middle Kingdom and checks in on the most compelling hotel opportunities in the hinterlands.
Speaking of traveling, Private Equity Real Estate will be docking at MIPIM this month along with rest of the real estate world. We'll be there to survey the state of the European property markets, hand out some magazines and sip champagne on luxury yachts. After all, this is awards season. It's time to celebrate.
See you in France and enjoy the issue,