Category Guidance

The guidance and criteria for each category has been carefully compiled in consultation with the judges and we refine the guidance each year to ensure we ask the entrants to impart the depth of information required to impress the judges as they review the entries. 
 
To download the category guidance, click here or use the button at the bottom of this page.

Silver awards

Country and regional
For each country and regional award, the judges are looking for the leading real estate investor from that country or region.
 
Your entry should ideally be a general review of your recent real estate activity and importantly how it fits in with your long-term institutional objectives. Including details of any deals you have concluded will strongly enhance your case.
 
This may be a summary of your major deals in the period under review across all sectors and strategies. It may focus on a specific change in your real estate approach that is designed to enhance your overall real estate portfolios and risk management.
 
You should ideally include any regulatory restraints you operate under nationally to help the judges understand why you chose a specific course of action or type of strategy and why you may be limited in the real estate sectors, investment styles and asset types open to you. This will permit them to review your regional entry more objectively.
 
Although the review period is generally 12-18 months, IPE Real Estate acknowledges that some real estate propositions and developments may require a longer time period before you can assess their success, so we are flexible on timeframes but you should give an update of any longer term project or development you may have included in previous entries.
Alternatives Strategy
This new award looks at the increasingly prominent role played by more specialist markets and niche sectors, such as student housing and care homes. You should explain how investing in niche assets supports your long-term objectives and risk return profile.

You should ideally include as many of the following points as possible:
  • document clearly the benefits of including to so-called alternative sectors
  • any restrictions either at institutional or regulatory level
  • include examples of your portfolio, especially deals and activity
  • any minimum or maximum investment value
  • the types and sectors you prefer
  • how you gain exposure
  • who manages your investments financially and operationally
  • outline how you manage the risks direct investments incur
  • how you measure or propose to measure your outcomes and judge if successful
  • provide figures or other data to demonstrate how you have achieved or are achieving your objectives
Core and Core + Strategies
For this category, you will need to explain what differentiates your core + from a core strategy, if you run both, how your strategy is composed, its objectives including time horizons, how you implement it, what measures you judge success by and figures/data to show outcomes to date. You should also explain how you construct your mandates and who runs them.
 
A core strategy is based on stable income producing properties and markets and is attractive to institutional investors looking for safe and reliable returns. Core strategies are additionally considered a means of diversification for long-term investors and your entry should begin by establishing why you chose to invest in core properties and its role in your overall risk adjusted returns.
 
Core + strategies target properties that offer the same secure characteristics as core assets but offer extra investment potential, to increase their net operating income such as renegotiating upcoming lease rates and tenancy rents.
 
More explicitly, for both core and core +, the judges will ideally look for strategies targeting properties with:
  • credit quality tenants
  • long-term leases
  • stable locations
  • in primary and secondary markets
  • secure and reliable return characteristics
  • diversification benefits
Debt Strategy
The concept of institutional investors providing finance is growing fast and real estate is one of the key asset classes where they can back projects and developments with long-term benefits that match their long-term risk reward expectations and liabilities. You should therefore explain the role debt plays in your overall investment strategy, including the risk it carries and how you manage it.
 
Debt is a generic term and there are many different types of real estate debt available to institutional investors, including:
  • mortgages
  • loans to finance development and/or renovation projects
  • mezzanine debt
  • senior debt
You should outline the types of debt you invest in and why you chose those types. You should also include:
  • details about how you construct your debt mandates and who manages them
  • highlight any restrictions either at institutional or regulatory level
  • details of the risk investing in debt carries and how you manage it
Direct Strategy
Although the concept behind direct real estate investments is relatively straightforward, the judges will be keen to see how you research and invest in target assets and who manages them both financially and operationally.
 
You should:
  • document clearly the benefits of running a direct portfolio
  • any restrictions either at institutional or regulatory level
  • include examples of your portfolio, especially deals and activity
  • any minimum or maximum investment value
  • the types and sectors you prefer
  • sourcing and building relationships with partners
  • explain how a direct strategy supports your long-term objectives
  • outline how you manage the risks direct investments incur
Indirect Strategy
An indirect strategy can be described simply as a means of gaining exposure to real estate via unlisted funds and other pooled or mutual investment vehicles. Your entry should provide full details of your indirect strategy, how you construct your mandates and who manages them.
 
Explicitly, the judges will be keen to know:
  • why you prefer to invest indirectly
  • any restrictions either at institutional or regulatory level
  • examples of your portfolio, especially recent deals and activity
  • the types and sectors you prefer
  • any minimum or maximum investment value
  • explain how an indirect strategy supports your long-term objectives
  • outline how you manage the risks indirect investments incur
Investment in Asia Pacific
With Asia Pacific considered a region of significant growth for real estate investors, this award will be judged on how your investments in this area complement your investments in other regions and support your overall long-term value objectives.
 
Examples of deals are essential and you should also include the following:
  • the benefits of investing in Asia Pacific
  • any restrictions either at institutional or regulatory level
  • examples of your portfolio, especially recent deals and activity
  • the types and sectors you prefer
  • your vision for its future role
  • the costs of investing and running infrastructure mandates
  • the mandates and types of vehicles used to obtain exposure
  • the risks investing in this region pose and how you manage them
Investment in Emerging Markets
With Emerging Markets considered an area of significant growth for real estate investors, this award will be judged on how your investments in markets such as India and other emerging Asian markets, Latin America and Russia, to name a few, complement your investments in other regions and support your overall long-term value objectives and risk return profile.
 
Examples of deals are essential and you should also include the following:
  • the benefits of investing in emerging markets
  • any restrictions either at institutional or regulatory level
  • examples of your portfolio, especially recent deals and activity
  • the types and sectors you prefer
  • your vision for its future role
  • the costs of investing and running infrastructure mandates
  • the mandates and types of vehicles used to obtain exposure
  • the risks investing in this region pose and how you manage them
Investment in Europe
Europe offers institutional investors a wealth of dynamic opportunities in various sectors and individual markets at different stages of the economic cycle. This category seeks to reward and measure how you optimise your European portfolios in relation to your investments in other regions and how these support your overall long-term value objectives and risk return profile.
 
Examples of deals are essential and you should also include the following:
  • the benefits of investing in Europe
  • any restrictions either at institutional or regulatory level
  • examples of your portfolio, especially recent deals and activity
  •  the types and sectors you prefer
  • the costs of investing and running infrastructure mandates
  • the mandates and types of vehicles used to obtain exposure
  • the risks posed by investing in Europe and how you manage them
Investment in North America
As with Europe, Canada and the US offer a wealth of dynamic opportunities in various sectors and individual markets at different stages of the economic cycle. This category seeks to reward and measure how you optimise your North American portfolios in relation to your investments in other regions and how these support your overall long-term value objectives and risk return profile.
 
Examples of deals are essential and you should also include the following:
  • the benefits of investing in North America
  • any restrictions either at institutional or regulatory level
  • examples of your portfolio, especially recent deals and activity
  •  the types and sectors you prefer
  • the costs of investing and running infrastructure mandates
  • the mandates and types of vehicles used to obtain exposure
  • the risks posed by investing in Europe and how you manage them
Opportunistic Strategy
Other than outlining your more short-term buying and selling skills to benefit from properties that are undervalued, distressed and/or under-managed, you should explain why and how adopting an opportunistic approach complements your long-term objectives and risk return profile. Your entry should provide full details how you construct your mandates and who manages them.
 
  • Explicitly, you should also include:
  • any restrictions either at institutional or regulatory level
  • examples of your portfolio, especially recent deals and activity
  • the types and sectors you prefer
  • the costs of investing and running opportunistic mandates
  • the mandates and types of vehicles used to obtain exposure
  • the risks opportunistic investments incur and how you manage them
Portfolio Construction
For this award, you should present a more holistic view of your real estate portfolios and how you construct them in relation to your overall long-term objective and risk return profile. Many institutional investors will run a variety of strategies and approaches in their real assets portfolios as a means of diversifying and balancing risk.
 
For this award, you should ideally therefore endeavour to cover:
  • your overall real estate risk budget
  • how you implement different strategies
  • how you develop partnerships
  • how the different strategies and investment approaches interact and balance each other out at both portfolio and overall levels
  • the way you construct your mandates within certain regulations and restrictions
  • how you research and analyse the potential benefits or impact of new sectors and investments
  • how you measure the overall success of your real estate portfolios
Sustainable Strategy
First and foremost, you should highlight how the elements of the sustainable strategy you adopt supports your long-term objectives and risk return profile.
 
A long-term institutional investor’s approach to investing sustainably in real estate ideally goes beyond just proving the green credentials of buildings they own or invest in. This is an area where the environmental aspect of ESG plays an equally important role, as does supporting local communities.
 
The judges will then be keen to see clear evidence and examples of deals of an inclusive and practical approach that seek to:
  • reduce your carbon footprint
  • protect the environment
  • supporting local community and economy
 
You should also include where you can:
  • energy efficiency targets for your holdings
  • how you implement your strategy practically
  • the percentage of your portfolio certified according to certain standards
  • proof of effective stewardship
  • place-making schemes
  • use of and replacing natural resources
But niche markets such as forestry, agriculture and wind-farms are equally considered viable forms of real estate sustainable strategies and may form the basis of our entry.
Value Added Strategy
A typical definition of a value added approach is investments in properties that are acquired at a favourable price with the potential to increase value by redevelopment or restoration.
 
This category highlights how adopting a value added strategy is appropriate to your long-term objectives and risk return profile. You should show how increasing the value of long-term commercial investments in properties with high vacancy rates that also often require some restoration or redevelopments poses no undue risk. Your entry should provide full details how you construct your mandates and who manages them.
 
Explicitly, you should consider including:
  • the benefits of investing in a value added strategy
  • how you research and invest in potential assets
  • who manages your assets both financially and operationally
  • any restrictions either at institutional or regulatory level
  • examples of your portfolio, especially recent deals and activity
  • the types and sectors you prefer
  • the costs of investing and running value added mandates
  • the mandates and types of vehicles used to obtain exposure
  • the risks value add poses and how you manage them

Gold awards

Investment Consultancy of the Year
The strongest entries in this category are structured by outlining your general approach to advising your clients, supported by at least three case studies from the past year to 18 months.
 
You should consider including:
  • why the client needed or sought a particular course of investment
  • how you analysed their needs and then the market accordingly
  • how your advice led to a structured solution
  • any success following a course of action based on your advice, including how this was measured and assessed
  • the cost-effectiveness of your input
  • the overall value you added

Platinum awards

Real Assets & Infrastructure Investor of the Year
Increasingly seen as distinct asset classes from real estate, infrastructure and other niche real asset classes such as timberland, forestry, agriculture, mobile transmission masts and utility transmission lines are regarded as having a special place in long-term portfolios alongside traditional real estate investments. Thanks to their distinctive and long-term nature, the overall impact infrastructure and other real assets can have in liability matching is significant. 
 
For this category, entries should focus on your infrastructure and/or other real assets in the main and avoid including any traditional real estate strategies or investments, even if these assets form part of a wider real assets portfolio. If there is a close relationship with your real estate investments, then you should ensure that your entry is heavily weighted in favour of the infrastructure and/or real assets investments. 
 
Judges would thus be keen to assess:
  • why you invest in infrastructure and/or other real assets and how they complement your traditional real estate and other asset classes in your overall portfolio 
  • the reasons for the level of your commitment
  • any restrictions either at institutional or regulatory level
  • examples of your investments, especially recent deals and activity
  • the types and sectors you prefer
  • your vision for their future role such as increasing your commitments
  • the costs of investing and running infrastructure and/or other real assets mandates
  • the mandates and types of vehicles used to obtain exposure
  • the risks infrastructure and/or other real assets investments incur and how you manage them
For further guidance or information, please contact: 

Robert Melia Watson
Pension Funds Relationship Manager
robert.watson@ipe.com
+44 (0)20 3465 9327