Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana has begun a search for investment managers to invest in real estate investment trusts (REITs).

The $18.2bn (€16.2bn) pension fund created a 2% allocation to REITs late last year, meaning it should have approximately $360m to invest in the asset class.

Louisiana Teachers told IPE Real Estate that prospective managers have until to 3 July 2017 to respond.

A decision on the successful manager – or managers – is likely to be made by at its board meeting in early October.

The search will be conducted investment consultant Aon Hewitt.

A board meeting document shows that Aon Hewitt favours an active global REIT manager, although depending on responses the pension fund might also consider a domestic REIT manager.

Prospective managers must have a minimum of $750m in assets managed for REIT strategies and be able to show at least three years of performance.

They must also be prepared to commit to a five-year contract with Louisiana Teachers and must commit a principal and/or portfolio manager to oversee the separate account.

They will be given full investment discretion and will be benchmarked against the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Development Index.

The board meeting document shows Aon Hewitt has argued that REITs can provide greater liquidity and diversification than private real estate strategies.