NORTH AMERICA – The State Universities Retirement System of Illinois is planning to invest $100m (€74m) into real estate for fiscal year 2014.

The capital will be part of the pension fund's 2014 investment plan, which was approved by the institution at its September board meeting.

Dan Allen, CIO at Illinois State Universities, said: "We will be looking to place the capital into the non-core sector. 

"This equity could be invested either domestically or on an international basis. An investment fund in a region like Europe could be considered."

Much of the pension fund's investments over the past year have been in the core sector. 

The favoured investment structure for the new capital will be commingled funds.

The decision to invest capital into real estate will be impacted by what the pension fund does with its general consultant search. 

"Our consultant now is Callan Associates," Allen said. "If they are re-hired, then placing the capital into real estate will be done smoothly. 

"If there is a new consultant selected, then the timing of the new commitments would be delayed, as this firm would take a while for it to become familiar with our existing real estate portfolio."

Illinois State Universities has a real estate portfolio valued at $962m, as of the end of June. 

This represents 6.5% of the pension fund's total plan assets of $14.8bn. 

The real estate portfolio now has 2.5% in private real estate and 4% in REITs.

It has a long-term allocation for real estate of 10%. 

The pension fund's existing real estate portfolio is split into three sectors – 38% is placed in core investments, 39% in REITs and 23% in non-core.