NORTH AMERICA – The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (Ohio PERS) is planning on a net investment increase of $500m (€366.5m) for real estate during the calendar year.

In an email, the pension fund said all of the capital would be allocated to its existing real estate managers, including Emmes, Heitman, Lowe Enterprises, PCCP and Sarofim.

The capital is part of the pension fund’s annual investment plan approved at its board meeting in mid-January.

Ohio PERS said it would be looking to place capital into niche opportunities. 

In its investment plan, the pension fund said its real estate staff would explore the development or redevelopment of hotels, industrial and retail property types, located primarily in the US.

Ohio PERS has a domestic focus, with 90% of its net asset value being located in the country.

The funding for the capital to be invested in real estate will come from property sales from existing assets in the portfolio. 

The pension fund will do this by realising gains on mature investments, as it is now at its 10% targeted allocation for the asset class. 

At the end of 2013, its real estate portfolio had an estimated value of $7.4bn, or 10.1% of total plan assets.

Ohio PERS has been increasingly active in underserved niches areas over the last three years, placing capital into secondary funds, opportunistic equity, distressed and transitional debt, apartment development and open-ended exit queues.