The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund is among investors that might invest in Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers’ debut core European real estate fund.

Cornerstone, which did not comment, has raised $500m (€441m) for the open-ended vehicle and seeking to double that figure, according to sources tracking capital raising.

Mutual Life Insurance Company, which owns Cornerstone and plans to merge it with Barings Asset Management later this year, will make an initial co-investment which will be reduced over time as the manager attracts more third-party capital.

The fund will focus on office, industrial, retail and residential assets in London, Paris, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, and avoid Italy. It will use 30% to 40% leverage.

The fund will join a growing number of core, open-ended real estate funds in Europe. AXA Investment Managers and TH Real Estate also recently announced the launch of funds, joining a roster of more established funds managed by the likes of CBRE Global Investors and Invesco Real Estate.

The investment committee of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, which has invested in US real estate with Cornerstone, was going to discuss committing at least $75m to the fund at a board meeting this week, although the item is no longer on the agenda.

The $34.3bn pension fund, which has an 8% allocation to real estate, will be considering commitments to Starwood Capital’s Global Opportunity Fund XI and Artemis Real Estate Partners Healthcare Fund I.