UNITED STATES - Maine Public Employees Retirement System is now moving ahead with plans to hold up to 5% of its assets infrastructure, and has made a further investment which could eventually lead the fund to invest up to $400m (€301.8m) in the asset class.

Maine PERS has recently allocated $50m to the Alinda Infrastructure Fund II, as the global investment commingled fund - investing 75% in North American and 25% in Europe - is projected achieve gross IRR of 18% to 20% over a five- to seven-year holding period.

Alinda is looking to raise $3bn of equity for Fund II, and then invest money in toll roads, municipal power plants, transportation, energy systems and community facilities.

Maine PERS has already made $125m worth of commitments into other infrastructure commingled funds, including $50m with Carlyle and $75m into Global Infrastructure Partners.

Elsewhere, the fund is expected to make a final decision on its search for its first ever real estate consultant at its 14 May board meeting.

ORG Real Property, The Townsend Group, Cliffwater LLC and R.V. Kuhns & Associates are the finalists who could end up working for the pension fund, to formulate a long-term real estate investment strategy including higher weightings to value-added or real estate.

"Up to this point, we have mainly invested in a core strategy in real estate," said Andrew Sawyer, chief investment officer for the pension fund. "This has been through placing capital into four core open-ended commingled funds.  Our only other investment in real estate has been with Barclays Global Investors in a domestic REIT strategy."

Maine PERS has invested a little more than 5% of its total plan assets in real estate, but has a targeted real estate allocation of 10%.