NORTH AMERICA - Nevada Public Employees Retirement System has chosen AEW Capital Management to take over an existing $600m (€480m) real estate portfolio previously managed by BlackRock. Heitman was the second manager under consideration, with a shortlist drawn up several months ago. Dana Bilyer, executive director for the $26bn Nevada PERS, said: "Both firms gave outstanding presentations before the board. The overall feeling was that AEW was a better cultural fit for the pension fund going forward." Nevada PERS decided several months ago to search for a new manager for the $613m separate account managed by BlackRock. AEW will initially manage only the existing portfolio, consisting of 17 properties, with the potential for a rise in overall assets under management in the future. "The idea here is that over time we will grow the AEW portfolio to the tune of $1bn," Bilyer said. "This will happen as long as the overall growth of the pension fund continues to happen as well." Any further acquisitions by AEW will see the account continue to target core properties. The portfolio's largest asset, the 180,000 square foot 1775 Eye Street office building in Washington, DC, has been owned by the pension plan for nearly 15 years and was valued at $120m at the end of March 2012. AEW, officially assuming BlackRock's role next month, will oversee a mixture of office, industrial, retail and apartments across the US, with the most recent acquisition a MachineWorks office building in Portland, Oregon, bought in July of last year and most recently valued at $41.2m.