Asana Partners, a start-up real estate manager, has hit its $500m (€470m) capital-raising target, having secured $75m from the New Mexico State Investment Council.

New Mexico is to be the final investor in the Asana Partners Fund I, according to Vince Smith, deputy investment officer for the organisation that manages the state’s $19bn endowment fund.

Asana Partners, which was founded in 2015 to invest in retail real estate, has attracted capital from US pension funds looking to increase their exposure to the sector.

The Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund and Los Angeles City Employees Retirement System have both committed to Asana Partners Fund I to increase their real estate exposure.

New Mexico had 14% of real estate portfolio in retail assets prior to the commitment, below the NCREIF-ODCE benchmark of 19%.

“We were a little bit light with retail assets prior to this commitment,” Smith said.

According to a New Mexico board meeting document, Asana has already invested $86.1m of the capital raised.

It has closed or is under contract on nine transactions in with a total purchase price of $244m. Four of the deals are in Charlotte; the others are in Raleigh, Nashville, Atlanta, Austin and Washington DC.

“We do favour making investments in commingled funds that are at least pre-specified so we get a real idea as to what are capital will be invested into,” Smith said.

Asana Fund I is pursuing a value-added strategy and is targeting net returns of between 11% tand 13%, with leverage around 60%.

New Mexico is also committing $50m to Agricultural Capital Management Fund II, which plans to develop and manage a diversified portfolio of US agricultural assets.

It will invest in traditional and organic blueberry, citrus and hazelnut farms, targeting net returns of 13%.

“This fund will be a good diversifier for us as most of our other ag portfolio is based outside of the US,” said Smith.