The Illinois State Board of Investment is looking to increase its real estate investment beyond the US.

The US pension fund told IP Real Estate it was aiming to have 20% of its real estate portfolio abroad in the coming years.

Bill Atwood, executive director, said investment abroad would help achieve additional diversification for the plan’s investment portfolio.

“US real estate is fully valued,” he said. “There will be better opportunities on an international basis.”

The pension fund currently has $90m (€80.5m) invested in international real estate, accounting for 5.9% of its overall $1.527bn real estate portfolio.

To achieve its target of 20%, it would need to invest up to $305m.

Most of its real estate commitments are in the $30m-40m range.

The pension fund is planning to bring a new international real estate commitment before its board for approval at its September board meeting.

Illinois State, which has historically invested in core and value-add strategies, will invest through a limited partnership structure in Europe and Asia.

The pension fund has extended its use of Courtland Partners as real estate investment consultant by another two and a half years following an RFP.

Courtland was selected out of seven finalists.