It has sometimes been said that the most powerful people in private equity investing are not the general partners who invest the capital, but the people who decide which investors are going to get that cash. After all, you could be the most skilled investor in the world, but without capital to spend you won't be getting too far.
Hence the fundraising process is crucial for any fund, and the limited partners who make the investment decisions for the biggest institutions hold a powerful position. PERE magazine decided it would be a useful endeavor to qualify who the most influential of those LPs are. The selections were based on interviews the PERE editorial team conducted with general partners, advisors, placement agents and fellow LPs around the world to learn which individuals are having the biggest impact on today's private equity real estate market.
These individual LP investors are appreciated, respected and in some cases feared. Many of them can write big checks, but that alone does not make them influential. Some have demonstrated thought leadership among their peers by embracing new strategies or new geographies. Others are particularly adroit at hammering out the best economic terms and conditions for their institutions. Others bring to the table valuable resources and connections that GPs can use in pursuing their underlying property investment strategies.
Theordore Eliopoulis, for example, was an obvious one. After all, anyone controlling a $16 billion (€10 billion) real estate portfolio – belonging to the largest public pension in the US – is going to be fielding a lot of phone calls from interested investors. But it isn't just the mountain of cash that Eliopoulis sits on that makes him influential, it is also his reputation in the industry. He was formerly California's chief deputy treasurer, responsible for oversight of the State Treasury's $50 billion pooled money investment account. The industry knows Eliopoulis as a shrewd investor who is comfortable investing large amounts of cash.
In the end it was a tough call to narrow down all of the quality limited partners to a list of just 20, and readers will certainly be able to think of others they think deserve to be on the list. But in calling attention to the twenty LPs we think are generating the most buzz, we think we've compiled a fairly good list.
So without further delay, here is PERE's list of the 20 most influential LPs, in alphabetical order. To read more about the top 20 LPs and to see their profiles, click here for more information on PERE's May issue.
Hermann Aukamp, Nordrheinische Ärzteversorgung
Mike DiRe, CalSTRS
Susan Doyle, GE Asset Management
Theodore Eliopoulos, CalPERS
Alan Forman, Yale University
Gloria Gil, University of California
Timothy Hoeppner, The MacArthur Foundation
Patrick Kanters, AGP
Susan Meaney, Makena Capital Management
Michael Nielsen, ATP Real Estate
Peter Pereira-Gray, The Wellcome Trust
Sandra Robertson, University of Oxford
Seek Ngee Huat, GIC
Marcus Simpson, QIC
Yap Chwee Mein, Temasek
Georges Sudarskis, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority
Robert-Jan Tel, TKP Investments
Marjorie Tsang, New York State Common Retirement Fund
Johan van der Ende, PGGM
Mark Wiseman, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board