UK public pension pool Border to Coast Pensions Partnership has hired abrdn to help launch and manage a UK real estate investment strategy.

The £60bn (€70bn) asset manager of 11 local government pension schemes (LGPS) said the UK Real Estate proposition, due to launch in late 2024, is designed to help the LGPS partner funds benefit from the scale that pooling brings.

Global investment company Abdrn will work with Border to Coast’s in-house property investment team to support, develop and implement the investment strategy, source real estate opportunities across the UK and provide portfolio management services for real estate assets.

In November last year, Border to Coast said it was seeking to hire a manager for a £3bn UK real estate investment mandate as it progresses with a plan to set up a direct property fund. At the time, Border to Coast said it had launched a search for a specialist manager to support the development and management of the UK Real Estate Fund, which holds around £1.75bn of direct properties at launch.

Alongside the main UK real estate fund, the asset manager said it was also launching the Gateway fund, a second fund that will hold indirect assets, such as real estate investment trusts and large UK-balanced real estate funds.

The month prior, Border to Coast Pensions appointed The Townsend Group as a consultant to support the development of a global real estate investment plan.

Border to Coast said the UK Real Estate proposition is an important pillar of the asset manager’s wider investment offering being developed on behalf of its partner funds. Alongside the separate global real estate proposition it [the UK Real Estate fund] will seek to ”deliver the benefits of pooling by offering access to a diversified range of high-quality real estate investment opportunities in a sustainable and cost-effective manner”.

Alistair Smith, the head of real estate at Border to Coast, said: “UK Real Estate is a fundamental asset class for our partner funds’ wider investment strategies.

“Our collective scale will allow us to deliver significant value for our partner funds, enabling us to invest in high-quality assets and manage them for the long term, while meeting our, and our Partner Funds’ responsible investment and net-zero commitments.”

Cameron Murray, the head of core funds at Abrdn, said: “We look forward to working closely with Border to Coast to deliver sustainable investment returns on behalf of the partner funds.

”Our strong track record in managing funds for local government pension schemes means we are uniquely placed to deliver the desired outcomes on behalf of the investors, while the size of our £43bn real estate business will enable us to provide depth and breadth of capability and at the same time benefit from efficiencies of scale.”

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