2022 CEEQA Gala, welcome back
Making magic again
Monika Richardson back on stage welcoming guests and presiding over the award presentations as usual, joined this time by new partner & CEO Svetlana Fedosova as well as founder and chairman Richard Hallward. The vibrant colour and choreographed mayhem, the sumptuous hospitality and world class entertainment were all back where they belonged as more than 650 guests partied well into the night – and many into the daylight – at CEEQA’s triumphant and spectacular return on 29 June.
We all survived
On the back of a tough and gruelling ride for everyone, yet with plenty of magic delivered by sector operators including some incredible projects and schemes, a first live public performance post-lockdown of I WILL SURVIVE and other hit classics by Grammy winning pop icon Gloria Gaynor closed the loop perfectly.
Originally booked for the 2020 edition of CEEQA, the live show rounded off the return of CEE real estate’s premium industry awards and flagship annual gathering of industry leaders from more 50 countries following a traumatic three-year covid-enforced absence. There was magic in the air, on the airwaves and all around as the spirit of CEEQA returned with a bang.
The awards show kicked off with a live link up with Kyiv based developer Budhouse Group’s Maksym Gavryushyn, who highlighted the visceral impact of the Russian invasion on commercial infrastructure including clips and photos of missile destruction of commercial buildings including the company’s own Nikolsky mall in Kharkiv, which remains operational despite the impact, and which came second in the Retail Development of the Year category to Capital Park’s outstanding Norblin Factory project in Warsaw, among four shortlisted Ukrainian projects completed in 2021 that made the final cut.
Lifetime achievement, Hadley Dean
The awards highlight was, as ever, the presentation of the awards for Lifetime Achievement in real estate. Given to an individual who as made a significant and durable impact to the CEE property sectors development and growth since the region’s emergence onto the global capital markets following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, recipients of the award include a pantheon of iconic leaders in the sector including investors, developers, financiers and consultants.
Having led the expansion of Colliers International throughout Eastern Europe and built investment platforms including EPP and, more recently, industrial developer and fund MDC2, Hadley Dean took his place in the pantheon with his usual humorous yet instructive aplomb.
The dinner and the winners
Among the prizes, it was Czech mate in Warsaw as Prague based players scooped the ice cream and popped the champagne as a hat-trick of awards showered on investor-developer CTP, developers Penta Real Estate and Portland Trust both scored doubles along with Cushman & Wakefield, whose regional leader Jonathan Hallett walked off into the late morning with the awards for Industry Professional of the Year and Overall Agent of the Year under his arm.
CTP’s prizes were for Resilience Company, Industrial Developer, Netzero Company of the Year, Penta took the awards for Investor of the Year and Residential Development of the Year (MAISON Orechovka, first phase), while Portland Trust’s J8 office building in Bucharest picked up the NetZero Building and overall Building of the Year in Southeast Europe, and Prague based residential agent Svoboda & Williams was crowned Local Agency of the Year. The Investor of the Year award also went to Prague based CPI Property Group. Relative newcomer, Accolade, joined the Czech charge with the award for Rising Star.
There were also multiple winners further north, Warsaw based Ghelamco winning awards for its ESG superstar office project Warsaw Unit, named Office Development of the Year and overall Building of the Year CEE, while Skanska SA and Skanska Commercial Development Europe shared the awards for Construction Company as well as overall Company of the Year, the latter decided by live vote by Gala guests. CBRE also won big with the Capital Markets Agency award.
Other big Polish successes included Capital Park’s Norblin Factory, named best Retail Development and also shortlisted for Office Development of the Year, and Echo Investment’s transformative inner city refurbishment of Browary Warszawskie won a battle of the titans against other mixed use projects for the Resilience Building award from Ghelamco’s Warsaw Hub and White Star’s Elektrownia Powisle.
International companies active in the region enjoying success were Gleeds (Development Services), Erste Group (Lender) and Clifford Chance (Legal), however a perceptible shift to locally born companies was in the air as a tightrope walker hovered above the stage and the awards ceremony ended in a shower of rainbow confetti and an after-party that finished long after sun-up to mark the return of CEEQA. Welcome back, read the signs around the event.
Pianist Albert Kurowski, a mainstay of CEEQA since its inception in 2003, made a come-back of his own serenading the event’s champagne reception, following cancer surgery and pandemic curtailment of entertainment providers. Mimello once again brought colour and magic to proceedings, with Allice in Wonderland leading a troupe of magicians, tightrope walkers, jugglers and other circus and fairground acts promoting CEEQA’s central theme for the 2022 campaign, the magic of happiness, the S in ESG.
And of course, presiding over proceedings was the ever present Monika Richardson, who was joined on stage by CEEQA’s new CEO, Svetlana Fedosova as well as old hand, CEEQA founder and Chairman Richard Hallward.
CEEQA returned with a big bang, resuming where it left off as the universally trusted industry awards and world-class gala, showcasing the sector to the international institutional arena. Deloitte resumed its role as Lead Partner working alongside the CEEQA team to push the boundaries of integrity and fairness. The decisions are made by the CEEQA Jury, a panel of experienced and senior representatives of leading companies active in the market place, with all aspects of judge selection and voting closely monitored by Deloitte. Normal transmission resumed at a stroke, boding well for the future.
Building back far better
Svetlana, the new partner and CEO of CEEQA said: “It’s been an enormous pleasure and education to work so closely with the key players in the sector and, having seen it from the outside for so many years, to see what goes into CEEQA from the inside. We look forward to building on this strong return to the market and CEEQA’s role in projecting the sector’s successes and opportunities to the global investment arena. We thank all our sponsors and partners for standing by us, we hope we rewarded your trust and faith. Let’s keep marching.”
Maciej Krason, Real Estate & Construction Industry Leader for Deloitte Central Europe, lead partner of CEEQA, said: “Over the 18 years of its presence on the market CEEQA has established unique trust credentials in the real estate sector. As Deloitte we recognize CEEQA’s mission to project opportunities and successes for market participants as values which Deloitte identifies with as well, its return to the market place is highly welcome and valued. As Leading Partner of CEEQA, we would like to congratulate all the award winners and wish them further successful and challenging projects in this very dynamic market.“
Richard Hallward, founder and director of CEEQA said: “Our congratulations to all this year’s winners and shortlisted candidates on another outstanding year for the sector, and our thanks to all participants, collaborators, jurors and partners for helping to make this the most successful edition of CEEQA to date on its return from solitary confinement. It’s good to be back”
Firstly, we’re very happy to be back. Secondly, happiness is important; if the pandemic experience has taught us one thing it is to value lives and life, among our species and among nature, maybe than the capital growth?
Our cues and themes for the editorial and visual work around CEEQA, and within the Gala itself, are an important part of the overall colour and appeal, as well as conveying a message about the ideas and ambitions of the real estate sector and the world at large.
Happiness has been our theme this year – the importance of it, in the context of the challenges of a challenging and damaging pandemic, the threats and fears of climate change, and the terrors and traumas of war in our own back garden.
We bring you our take on the value and importance of the S in ESG, our thematic focus and event concept as we spring back to life: workforce happiness, community happiness, human happiness.
We go again. Quality still matters
The high calibre business mixing, unparalleled hospitality and production, the elegant champagne reception and dining, legendary no-limits afterparty and the awards themselves that provide the unique experience and value of the CEEQA Gala are important. But are they more important than happiness?
The CEEQA Gala, organised since 2003, has raised the bar – and the roof – for business events. Now is the perfect time to show the international property arena what is special about the CEE/SEE property market place, in partnership with Deloitte and Warsaw Business Journal,
All on a summer night.
We go again 6 June 2023
Having proved its mettle and value to the CEE and SEE real estate market place, CEEQA is already looking ahead with enthusiasm to the 18th edition in June 2023. The pattern having been set for the well received outdoor/indoor formula at Wyscigi in the warmer Warsaw climes of early summer, an early June reprisal looks to be a more appetising project than a return to late April.
In the end, the quality of the party matters almost as much as the awards and CEEQA 22 put a large and vibrant stake in the ground. And let’s hope, biospheric upheavals permitting, there’s no looking back from here.
Welcome back. We missed you!
CEEQA 22: The party, the people
CEEQA 22: The dinner, the winners
CEEQA 22: Lifetime achievement in real estate, Hadley Dean
CEEQA 22: Stand with Ukraine
CEEQA 22: Gloria Gaynor, glorious entertainment
CEEQA 22: The Media Wall
CEEQA 22: Decision makers, jury dinner and Ukraine briefing