A real estate investment specialist worked with a group patiently and quietly for five years to bring the world's second-largest retailer, Costco Wholesale, to this country.

Brent McGregor, the Auckland-based executive chairman of real estate specialists CBRE New Zealand, was cited by Westgate landowner Mark Gunton of NZ Retail Property Group this week as being crucial to the deal behind the arrival of the American giant with net annual sales the same as New Zealand's entire GDP.

McGregor was somewhat reluctant to take the accolade, but acknowledged this week: "I just worked hard for a long time. It's part of