UK - Aviva Investors is set to launch a series of real estate-related investment funds for UK pension schemes as part of its Return Enhancing and Liability Matching Assets (REaLM) strategy.

The new multi-fund strategy, which targets long-duration assets with inflation linkages, is being devised initially for the Aviva Staff Pension Scheme in conjunction with its investment advisers, but Aviva Investors intends to roll it out for other pension funds.

The funds will each offer access to a number of asset classes, which might include infrastructure and real estate loans, and could be launched in a matter of months.

Richard Field, global investment solutions director at Aviva Investors, said: "We are looking at up to five asset classes within this space - it could end up being less, it could end up being more."

Aviva Investors is targeting assets that offer long-term, stable and secure cash flows that would help maturing pension schemes in the UK match assets while providing better returns over traditional fixed income investments.

The strategy is "actively under development" for the Aviva Staff Pension Scheme, of which Field is also a trustee.

Field added: "From an Aviva Investors' point of view, our intention is to set it up in such a way that it is accessible to other pension funds, and we have been very explicit about that with Aviva Staff Pension Scheme.

"We want to set up something that meets their requirements, but we also want it to be flexible enough and open enough to meet other schemes' requirements as well."

By launching a series of funds, prospective investors would be able to tailor their exposure given their requirements.

"The reason for having different sectors represented in separate funds would be that, first of all, we are able to allocate in different portions according to the client's preference," Field said.

"Also, the relative attractiveness of each one might change from time to time, but more likely, simply the investment opportunities in each one will differ from time to time."
Field said assets did not necessarily have to be real estate-related.

"As it happens, the early assets classes we will bring to the market will all be related to real estate in one way or another," he said.