UNITED STATES - ING Clarion Partners is establishing a global opportunity platform with the hiring of David Gilbert as a managing director and portfolio manager.

This new entity will see the real estate manager pull together opportunity funds to invest in assets on a global basis, including assets based in the US.

His first move as head of this operation will be to create a commingled opportunity fund but there is so far no specific timetable for its establishment nor any indication of just how big the commingled fund will be but Gilbert suggested the projected gross IRR returns would be at least 20%.

"Our investment strategy would include both developed and emerging market countries. This would involve places like United States, Mexico, China, India, and eastern and central Europe."

The opportunity fund will invest in several property types, including the main property types of office, industrial, retail and apartments, while existing assets and placing capital in new developments may be considered as well as investing in real estate securities.

ING Clarion will also expect to invest in both single assets and large portfolios as well as the possibility of investing in real estate companies.

Gilbert comes to ING Clarion with substantial institutional real estate investment experience.

He was most recently a managing director at JP Morgan Asset Management where he ran the alternative property fund - an open-ended commingled fund with total assets of $650m (€471.4m) which creates joint ventures to focus on a single non-core property such as senior housing, student housing and hotels.

Gilbert also was the head of real estate at the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) for three years, directing a broad restructuring of the pension fund’s $6bn real estate portfolio.