REAL ESTATE – SAUL, the Superannuation Arrangements of the University of London, is avoiding real estate amid wider concerns about the transparency of ‘alternatives’.

An investment committee meeting last week failed to decide on the likely future allocation to real estate after chief executive Penny Green publicly cast doubt on the governance of alternative asset classes.

In a judgement that encompassed commodities and hedge funds as well as real estate, she expressed concern over available information, transparency and governance.

She told IPE Real Estate: “When you already have a roster of fund managers, you need to look at who will manage and monitor them so you have an answer when things go wrong.”

Green, who is also president of the Pensions Management Institute, said the fund had “no immediate plans” to invest in alternatives but that it had not ruled out re-allocating some of its investment away from equities and bonds.

“We view them positively,” she said. “We believe alternative assets have a role in a portfolio.” But she said the fund had no schedule in place for future investment in real estate and hedge funds.

“You can’t look at these things in isolation,” she said.