One of the more prominent trends for the private real estate sector in 2020 was that the covid-19 pandemic accelerated institutional capital further towards certain property types and away from others.
That much has been illustrated in the nominations of the 15th and biggest Global PERE Awards yet. Indeed, among the most competitive categories in this year’s awards are those dedicated to logistics, residential and alternative real estate.
Blackstone’s $14.6 billion recapitalization of its life science real estate business BioMed Realty was the biggest private real estate transaction of the year. That deal was nominated for Global Deal of the Year, but also as a reason for Blackstone’s nomination for Global Firm of the Year, Global Alternatives Investor of the Year and their North American equivalent categories.
Tellingly, the other contenders for the Global Deal of the Year category included Prologis’ $13 billion acquisition of Liberty Property Trust, Scape Australia’s A$2 billion ($1.49 billion; €1.23 billion) purchase of Urbanest’s student housing portfolio, alongside AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets, Allianz Real Estate and APG Asset Management. There was not an office or mall in sight.
Indeed, this year’s awards see many of the asset classes which found themselves somewhat resilient to the economic challenges brought by the covid-19 pandemic take center stage, while those which proved challenged hardly feature. Logistics is a particular battleground with global managers GLP and Prologis featuring prominently, as is residential where manager Greystar is nominated across multiple categories.
However, while certain firms which have fared well in past awards again feature this time around, such as 74-time winner Blackstone, 36-time winning law firm Clifford Chance and 21-time winner Starwood Capital Group, there is a notably more even playing field across categories, with a number of organizations and individuals featuring for the first time.
Many of these new organizations have filled voids left by those with heavy exposures to retail and hotels where, as you will see from the entries in the Retail Investor of the Year and Hotels & Leisure categories, activity was low and either distressed or defensive in nature.
The 2020 PERE Global Awards attracted more than 400 submissions, 100 percent more than the 200 received in the 2018 Awards. That deluge, alongside the PERE editorial and research team’s extensive outreach and field work saw the launch of the awards delayed by 48 hours. But now they are here, it is time for you to find out which organizations and individuals have a shot at glory for their efforts in what has been, for most executives in the private real estate sector, the most difficult year in living memory.