FINLAND - The Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company in Finland has identified four main areas of opportunity to investigate in its bid to increase its indirect real estate exposure, including ‘secondaries' and infrastructure.

The institution is focusing its attention on property markets in the UK and Asia, as well as infrastructure and secondary market opportunities in real estate funds.

Ilmarinen is aiming to increase its overall property exposure from 9% to 12%, one-third of which will be allocated to indirect investments, and is exploring the above investment areas as part of this programme.

However, Mikko Räsänen, portfolio manager at Ilmarinen, said "given the short-term weak market visibility there is no need to make long-term plans, but we have identified [these] themes to be analysed further."

He added: "As for our investment approach, we are still making new investments but on cautious and selective basis. Our goal is still to increase our indirect real estate allocation from the current level."

It was Ilmarinen's real estate investments that helped limit its losses in 2008, which amounted to €4.34bn over the 12 months.

Ilmarinen's real estate portfolio returned 6.8% in 2008, driven primarily by the 8.3% yield on directly-owned properties, with indirect investments producing a negative return of -5.2%.