20 Rising Stars: The next generation

Published on: "Private Equity Real Estate"

After almost two decades of existence, the private equity real estate industry has seen its fair share of influential personalities. But going forward, who are the rising stars that will further shape the evolution of the asset class? PERE presents a few possibilities.

From time to time, Private Equity Real Estate has taken upon itself a rather difficult task: quantifying the unquantifiable. In issues past, for example, we have published features listing 20 “landmark” transactions in the industry’s history or profiling the 30 most “influential” practitioners of all time.

Those were difficult lists to put together—everyone, it seems, has an opinion on which deal or individual has had a lasting influence on the asset class. But at the very least, there was a historical record to analyze, dissect and offer an opinion on.

In compiling this month’s list—a list of 20 “rising stars” in private equity real estate—we faced an even more arduous task: attempting to predict which individuals will have an impact on the future of the asset class. And the historical record, if you will, is relatively slim.

In compiling our short list, our journalists canvassed a wide variety of sources around the globe in an effort to identify those individuals who had gained recognition at a relatively early point in their (hopefully long) careers. Some of these people you may have heard of; others may be relatively unknown. But our primary considerations were not just professional achievement and age—though those were clearly important factors. Rather, we also looked for those individuals who we felt could have a significant impact on the future evolution of the industry. That is one reason, for example, why a significant number of our selections come from Europe (6) and Asia (5), two regions of the world where the asset class is still at a relatively nascent stage of development. (By comparison, a majority of the candidates in our list of the 30 most influential people came from the US.)

A few caveats. First, age—all the candidates, to the best of our research, are under 40 years old. While we hate to be accused of ageism, we had to make a subjective cut-off. Second, stature—we deliberately left off certain individuals who we felt could not necessarily be classified as a “rising” star in the sense that they had already achieved a certain level of stature and influence (which is why someone like Jonathan Gray at The Blackstone Group or Mike hannon at KSL Capital Partners did not make our list). Third, ranking—the candidates are listed in alphabetical order; there is no number one. Fourth, scope—we limited ourselves to those in the GP and LP community to the exclusion of those in the banking, legal and consulting professions.

And finally, and most importantly, intent—what you are reading is not a definitive list, but rather a subjectively assembled group of individuals, chosen by the journalists at PERE after months of deliberation and discussion with a variety of seasoned industry practitioners. There are certainly many people
not on this list who will have an extraordinary impact on the future direction of the private equity real estate industry.

But lists, by their very nature, are imperfect, subjective and imprecise—which is why they are also so much fun. So let our hard work and research be your reward. Read on and enjoy. And keep your eyes on the individuals listed here.

Miltos Kambourides, 34
Dolphin Capital Partners, Athens

Miltos Kambourides, the 34-year old co-founder of Dolphin Capital Partners, abides by the motto “you only live once,” according to those who know him. Not only did the Cyprusborn entrepreneur study for three different degrees while in college, he is likely one of the few private equity real estate pros to have represented his country in the “Maths Olympics.”

After graduating from MIT, Kambourides was spotted by Richard Georgi and became yet another rising star trained by the European property pro. Together, they left Goldman Sachs to set up Soros Real Estate Partners, where they raised $1 billion for investments throughout Europe and Japan. In 1999—and while still only 26—Kambourides led the acquisition of British outsourcing company Mapeley.

Although Kambourides left Soros Real Estate after five years to establish his own company —Dolphin Capital Partners, which he co-founded with fellow Soros alum Pierre Charalambides— he was still able to attract some big-name investors of his own. The firm’s first investment vehicle, Dolphin Capital Investors, received €3 million of seed capital from Fortress Investment Group, while Dolphin chipped in €2 million of its own equity.

Since floating the vehicle on London’s Alternative Investment Market in December 2005, the fund’s shares have more than doubled and it has quickly become the biggest seafront developer in Southeastern Europe with residential sites primarily in Greece, Cyprus and Croatia. Earlier this year, the company sealed a deal to buy Cyprus’s largest holiday home developer, Aristo Developers, in a transaction valued at €438 million.

Source: "Private Equity Real Estate"