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And the winners are ..

Voting has begun for the 2008 Global PERE Awards. Which firm and deal will be the most notable of 2008 - and who will be industry figure of the year?

Yes, it's that time of year again when voting starts for the Global PERE Awards. Who do you think has the potential to be named industry figure of 2008? Which firm made the most notable deal of 2008? What was the fundraising highlight of the year?

As PERE magazine opens the polls for the 2008 Global PERE Awards, we are asking you to nominate the people, firms and deals in the only industry awards that are voted on entirely by professionals in the private equity real estate market.

The awards are totally independent. There is no sponsorship, no opening short list, no panel of judges and no editorial strings pulled. This is simply and purely a popular vote among private equity real estate peers.

Last year, Equity International co-founder Sam Zell and The Blackstone Group dominated the global and North American categories following the sale and acquisition of Equity Office Properties, winning industry figures of the year, exit, deal and fundraise of the year.

London-based MGPA was also a strong contender in the European and Asian categories, securing the trophies for European and Asian firm of the year, deal and industry figure of the year.

But in the wake of the credit crunch, government bailouts and the collapse of the investment banking model, who will emerge as the industry's favourites in 2008?

Anyone may nominate industry people, firms and service providers across the pre-designated categories. (Nominators may only submit one name per category and may not nominate themselves or their own firms.)

On 5 January, 2009, the people and firms with the most nominations will be placed on shortlists of five candidates per category – just like the Oscars – for the next and final round of voting, which will close on 30 January, 2009.

The results will be published simultaneously on PrivateEquityRealEstate.com and in the PERE magazine in March.
For additional information on the voting process for the 2008 Global PERE Awards and how you can get involved as well as engage others, click here.