NORTH AMERICA – The Florida State Board of Administration is looking to expand its private domestic real estate investment programme to include international investments.

The pension fund's initial capital targeted for this strategy is estimated at approximately $200m (€151m).

Steve Spook, senior investment officer for real estate, said: "We are in due diligence in the potential expansion of our investment strategy for real estate. 

"There has been no timetable established as to when and if this move would be made.

"We see this could give us an additional layer of diversification for our portfolio. 

"There also could be some compelling investment strategies to pursue in other parts of the world."

But Spook also stressed that Florida would not make any hasty decisions.

"Anybody who has tracked our history of investing in real estate knows we tend to do things slowly," he said.

"We expect this will be the case with this potential move. 

"Most of the due diligence is being done with staff and some additional work by our real estate consultant, the Townsend Group."

The pension fund does have some international real estate exposure in its public real estate portfolio. 

This sector of its real estate assets makes up 10% of its total real estate portfolio. 

It has been a 100% global portfolio since 2011.

The potential investment strategy would include looking at three major areas around the world – Europe, Asia and Brazil. 

For the European portion, the UK would definitely be part of the mix, according to Spook.

He added that, on an international basis, the investments would only include commingled funds. 

"We wouldn't want to set up a separate account relationship, as there would be too much risk for us to own a 100% interest in a single property," he said.

"We would prefer to be a limited partner in a commingled fund."

Florida has a total real estate portfolio valued at $10.1bn, as of the end of June, representing 7.7% of total plan assets. 

The targeted allocation for real estate is 7%, with a policy range of 2-12%.