GLOBAL - New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF) kicked off its emerging manager programme for real estate after committing $300m (€223m) to Artemis Real Estate Partners, state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has announced.

The objective of the real estate emerging manager vehicle is to provide CRF - which already invests approximately $6bn with emerging managers - with access to real estate joint venture operators that have less than $1bn of equity capital under management.

DiNapoli said CRF's latest move had affirmed its status as an "innovator in the field" and showed its commitment to enhancing diversity and opportunity, while "improving its bottom line".

When he took office in 2007, DiNapoli said he would launch an emerging managers programme in all of the $146.9bn fund's major asset classes.

Based in Chevy Chase, Maryland, Artemis RE was founded in 2009 by Deborah Harmon and Penny Pritzker.

Harmon, chief executive at Artemis, said her company would provide CRF with "enhanced" core returns by making and managing equity and debt investments with qualified emerging managers.

She said part of the strategic mandate would involve the creation of joint venture partnerships with established and newly formed emerging managers.

CRF, the third-largest pension scheme in the US, announced the selection of managers for the emerging managers for private equity and hedge fund in January 2009 and June 2010, respectively.

The earliest emerging manager programme it had was in fixed income, while a similar programme was launched for public equities in 1994.

The main aim is to invest assets with smaller, newer funds and separate account managers, with a special focus on minority and women-owned business enterprises.

In addition, since emerging managers "invest in different structures and markets than larger firms", it provides greater diversification, CRF said.