One thing became apparent during the compiling of shortlists for Real Estate Capital‘s 2020 awards: property trading and financing activity may have been down sharply this year due to covid-19, but significant deals continued to be closed.
Among the 33 categories in this year’s awards – which opened for voting today, 10 December – seven concern the most impressive financing transactions of 2020. The shortlist for Senior Investment Financing Deal of the Year: Europe, for example, features a pan-European hotel financing, undertaken by a single German bank, as well as the acquisition financing of Belgium’s largest office tower, by a club of banks and insurers.
The Development Financing Deal of the Year: Europe category also serves to demonstrate that lenders were willing to write big loans against development projects in 2020. Among them is the financing of Arboretum in Paris – Europe’s largest wood-based office campus.
The organisations that pitched for inclusion in our awards were keen to display their environmental, social and governance credentials. Our shortlists highlight those that demonstrated a focus on ESG during a challenging year, none more so than the Sustainable Finance Provider of the Year: Europe category, for which a UK insurer, a UK bank, a US investment bank and a French lender are shortlisted.
Our awards, now in their seventh year, recognise the lenders, borrowers, advisors and deals that moved the needle in the year before. As a reminder, here are our 2019 winners. This year, new awards have been introduced, including Small-Ticket Market Lender of the Year: Europe, recognising the specialist lenders, challenger banks and online lending platforms that cater to the sub-€20 million loan market.
There can be no doubt that 2020 has been the most challenging year for real estate debt providers, borrowers and advisors since the global financial crisis. But our awards demonstrate the best of the industry despite difficult circumstances. Our job of selecting the shortlisted parties is complete. Now, it is over to you, our readers, to decide who deserves to win.