UNITED STATES - Maine Public Employees Retirement System has selected ORG Real Property as its first ever real estate consultant.

Officials say the institutional investor felt it needed to hire a consultant specialising in real estate as it still has to place the remaining 5% of its targeted allocation to real estate.

Maine PERS had a real estate portfolio valued at $370m (€267.2m) to the end of May, which meant around 5% of its $8.4bn in total plan assets had been invested in the asset class, against a targeted allocation for real estate of 10% within the next two or three years.

The vast majority of the investor's existing portfolio has been invested in four open-ended core commingled funds, worth $325m, with JP Morgan Asset Management, Prudential Real Estate Investors, Principal Real Estate Investors and BlackRock Realty.

The remaining $45m is invested in a passive index REIT strategy with Barclays Global Investors, but Andrew Sawyer, chief investment officer at Maine PERS, said new thinking could be on the cards.

"We are going to be considering a variety of new investment strategies for the future," said Sawyer. "We think we are in a good position, given the amount of capital that we have available to invest and the lack of capital that many pension funds have around the country."

On the private real estate side, the pension fund will be looking at investing in commingled funds with either an international strategy or managed as opportunity funds.

Some consideration will also given to invest more capital in public real estate and could lead to the hire of REIT managers with an active investment strategy.