NORTH AMERICA – The Maine Public Employees Retirement System has approved as much as $250m (€191m) in new real estate commitments.

Based on the recommendation of consultancy ORG Portfolio Management, pension fund earmarked up to $150m for the Stockbridge Smart Markets fund and up to $100m for the Mesa West Core Lending fund. 

Stockbridge Capital Group continues to raise capital for the Smart Markets Fund, a core open-ended commingled fund without entry queue. 

Through the third quarter of 2012, the gross asset value in the fund was $227.5m.

The real estate manager is targeting an 8.4% total net IRR and a 9% total net IRR.

The fund's average deal size will be $10m-50m, investing in targeted markets in the US, particularly the East and West Coasts.

These areas include 'smart' employment centres home to major universities and highly educated work forces. 

The Core Lending fund is a real estate debt fund managed by Mesa West Capital. 

The projected total net IRR is 7-8%.

The fund will provide first mortgage loans on major commercial property types, including office buildings, industrial, apartments, retail and hotels. 

Mesa West will seek to identify institutional quality properties with strong ownership and situated at infill locations in areas with high barriers to entry.

Separately, Maine PERS set aside up to $200m for co-investments over the next two years, including in infrastructure. 

The pension fund will manage this capital on a discretionary basis through its investment team in conjunction with its infrastructure consultant, Cliffwater LLC.  
Investments in infrastructure will be considered on a global basis.