NORWAY - The Norwegian Ministry of Finance has appointed PartnersGroup to provide real estate consultancy services to the NOK 2.1trn(€265bn) Government Pension Fund - Global.

The contract, which was tendered in November, requires Partners Group- a Swiss-based global alternative asset manager with large operationsin the US - to prepare a report containing recommendations on how theNorges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which runs the global fund,should formulate a real estate mandate.

The Ministry of Financeconfirmed last year it is considering a separate allocation to realestate investments and, as a result, tendered for a consultant tooutline a "set of evaluation criteria for the operational management"of a real estate portfolio.  (See earlier IPE story: Norway seeks real estate expertise)

Thegovernment today revealed Partners Group had been appointed to the rolefollowing a strong tender competition based on price, expertise ofworking with similar institutions, and the firm's approach.

Itpointed out while Partners Group has very little experience in realestate consultancy for large institutions, the firm had acquired thereal estate consultancy business of Pension Consulting Alliance (PCA)in 2007, which has provided consultancy services in Europe andoverseas, and is most well-known in the US through its work withschemes such as CalPERS.

A spokesperson said Partners Group'sbiggest advantage was the team from PCA, which has "experience insimilar assignments" as it used to be the real estate consultants forlarge institutional investors.

Following its appointment,Partners Group is now expected to produce a written report, withrecommendations, to be presented to the Ministry of Finance although aspecific timetable has yet to be revealed. 

The GovernmentPension Fund - Global currently splits its investments in two, with 40%allocated to overseas equities and 60% in overseas fixed interest,although plans to diversify into alternative assets were firsthighlighted in May 2007 when NBIM appointed a real estate manager.