ASIA - The first closing of Aberdeen's third Asia-Pacific fund of funds includes $230m (€175.3m) of non-discretionary capital for co-investment in underlying funds, joint venture and club deals, the fund manager has said.

Asia III raised $242m over the past nine months from both new and existing investors in its fully committed previous two pan-Asian real estate funds.

According to senior investment specialist Chris van Beek, the investors include small, medium and "very large" pension funds, though he declined to disclose how many.

Fund manager Puay Ju Kang previously worked for Singapore sovereign wealth fund subsidiary GIC and Dutch pension fund manager APG, including as a direct investor.

The Asia III fund, which has a hard cap of $600m, will invest in existing vehicles across the region - including mature markets such as Australia and the two BRIC markets.

The additional co-investment capital will allow investors in the Aberdeen vehicle to gain more exposure to underlying structures, the company said.

"It is effectively a side-pocket of cash, and the investor can decide if and how much to allocate," said van Beek.

"These institutions already have capital in the mandate to spend. It's an option they have. It could be we don't use any of it, or it could be we use all of it."

Asked for a profile of the typical investor likely to take up the co-investment option, he said:

"You need to be comfortable with Asia-Pacific to invest in the fund. They've already done their homework."

In addition to investing in local funds across the region, Asia III will target joint ventures and club deals, as well secondaries and hybrid capital projects.

For a previous fund in the series, Aberdeen set up a joint venture with GE Capital to invest in Japanese residential after failing to source an existing vehicle with an appropriate strategy.

"As a manager, you need to find a fund with the right strategy or else to find different ways to gain exposure to that strategy," van Beek said.

"It isn't that easy to find the right fund manager. On the other hand, we probably have the largest fund-of-funds team in the region, but we still can't go looking for a specific asset in Japan."