UK public pension pool Border to Coast Pensions Partnership has appointed The Townsend Group as a consultant to support the development of the former’s global real estate investment plan.

The £60bn (€68bn) asset manager of 11 local government pension schemes (LGPS) said Townsend’s appointment marks a key stage in the development of a £5bn real estate proposition for Border to Coast’s partner funds.

Townsend will support Border to Coast’s dedicated real estate team in the building of two global propositions by providing investment and portfolio support, “detailed due diligence on prospective investments, and support embedding environmental, social, and governance considerations into the investment process”.

Two global propositions, a core and a value-add/opportunistic offering, are expected to launch in early next year.

Once launched, it will seek to deliver the benefits of pooling through a centralised team which can expand access to global real estate investment opportunities in a sustainable and cost-effective manner, the LGPS manager said.

Alistair Smith, the head of real estate at Border to Coast, said: “The appointment of Townsend Group is an important step towards the launch of our real estate proposition, which will further deliver the benefits of pooling for partner funds.

“By leveraging the expertise, resources, and influence gained through our collective scale, we expect to be among the largest real estate propositions in the UK – expanding investment opportunities for our partner funds and acting as a strong voice on responsible investment in the sector.”

Nick Duff, a partner at The Townsend Group, said: “We are excited to have been selected to work with Border to Coast. With its reputation for developing high-quality propositions on behalf of the LGPS, it is a real opportunity for us to be involved in the build of a leading global real estate proposition from the start, and to work together on behalf of its Partner Funds to deliver the long-term, sustainable investments needed to support the pensions of members.”

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