The State of Wisconsin Investment Board has hired Bentall Kennedy to invest in US medical offices, after revealing recently that it was searching for a separate account manager.
The pension fund has allocated $150m to the strategy, which will focus on existing properties, investing in core and value-add assets.
Bentall Kennedy senior vice president, Clint Hinds, is overseeing the relationship. He said medical office properties are experiencing a surge in demand, driven by an ageing US population and an increasing trend to deliver healthcare in outpatient settings.
Bentall Kennedy holds around 4% (or $370m) of its US portfolio in medical office assets.
Florida State Board of Administration is looking to make its first investment in European real estate.
Dennis MacKee, director of communications for the pension fund, stated that austerity and deleveraging were creating good investment opportunities in the region. The flight to quality by investors, he said, had resulted in a mispricing risk.
Florida has not ruled out any areas of the continent, with the larger, more liquid markets of France, Germany and UK offering attractive, risk-adjusted returns. MacKee said Florida was interested in the non-core sector as it looked to achieve value-add and opportunistic net IRR returns in the mid-teens.
The pension fund has $5bn (€3.6bn) of new capital to invest in real estate following a decision in December last year to increase its targeted allocation to the sector from 7% to 10%.