The New York State Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS) is to expand its separate account real estate exposure to Europe and Asia for the first time.

The US pension fund has begun to source separate account managers with mandates of up to $500m (€446.4m).

NYSTRS is conducting the search to further diversify its real estate portfolio.

The pension fund has existing separate account relationships with JP Morgan Asset Management, Clarion Partners, Sentinel Advisors, Bentall Kennedy and Invesco Real Estate Advisors.

The pension fund is conducting the search along with its real estate consultant Callan Associates.

San Francisco-based Sarah Angus, senior vice-president at Callan, said NYSTRS had not yet determined how many managers would be selected, or when a final decision might be made.

Most of the capital will be invested in core office, industrial, retail and apartment assets.

Some managers with expertise in a single property sector could apply.

NYSTRS asks that its separate account managers have a non-discretionary relationship with the pension fund to give it more control over real estate investments.