UK - Aviva Investors has launched an open-ended real estate fund it hopes will attract a number of local government pension schemes (LGPS) unable to invest in the asset class due to investment restrictions.

The company said its Global Real Estate Fund of Funds would give UK schemes exposure to the unlisted continental European market, as well as North America and the Asia Pacific region.

John Gellatly, head of real estate multi-managers in Europe, said pension funds often ignored chances to diversify their real estate holdings, instead only investing in the home market.

"However," he added, "by looking further afield, pension schemes are able to access a broad range of markets that offer different risk and return prospects and varying investment styles, allowing them to exploit opportunities that are not available in their home markets."

Gellatly explained that LGPS would be able to circumvent current investment guidelines, as it was structured as a property unit trust based in Jersey.

He argued the low correlation between other asset classes and real estate returns was another reason to consider investment.

"Asia Pacific is currently showing signs of a strong recovery and is capable of delivering good income growth, while in continental Europe and the US we see a number of significant opportunities for growth," he said.