With $80bn of assets under management, Blackstone is hands down the largest real estate private equity operation in the world. The firm’s offerings cover Europe, Asia and the US, giving it a truly global presence and convenience in the markets in which it operates. The company’s model is simple: buy, improve, sell. Market conditions have been favourable to Blackstone over the last few years, as the firm has diversified and pursued numerous opportunities in new and developing markets. In 2014, the company’s portfolio was expanded to include a lot more of the European market, after it identified a number of prospects in the region. Further growth looks set to follow.