GLOBAL - Aberdeen Asset Management has launched a target $300m-400m (€210m-280m) Asia-Pacific fund-of-funds aimed at European pension schemes with a minimum of £1m (€1.1m) to invest.

The closed-end fund-of-funds - Aberdeen's third in the region - will invest in both relatively mature markets such as Singapore and growth economies such as China and India.

It will target a return of between 13% and 17%, with more than 50% gearing.

Former APG manager Puay Ju Kang will manage the fund. She and her five-strong team are expected to allocate capital to private equity fund managers focused on a single country - with a view to its point of the property cycle - or a specific sector.

In a statement, Puay indicated that the fund would pursue investments not only in funds but with joint ventures and club deals, relying on a regional network that would give it better access to opportunities than many of its competitors.

"The ability to make such connections is expected to be a factor in overall returns," she said.

Otherwise, the fund will invest in vehicles across the risk spectrum, from core to opportunistic.

Puay said the fund would employ the "same rigorous investment approach as existing funds, with a strong research-led process". 

However, the fund manager did not respond today to questions on the timing of the launch, given DTZ's March report of European pension schemes retrenching to their domestic regional market and forecasts by PwC of a potentially competing fund management cluster emerging within the region.

Aberdeen Asia managing director of Hugh Young said in a statement only that property stood as an asset class "ripe for expansion" after equity and fixed income.

Aberdeen was giving little away today. Asked about pension scheme interest in the fund, a spokesman said only that it had attracted interest from institutional investors "around the world".