NORTH AMERICA – Ohio Public Employees Retirement System has approved a $200m (€154.2m) follow-on commitment into the BlackRock Granite Property fund.

In a board meeting document, the pension fund said the investment would help satisfy the risk/return parameters for property type, geographic and lifecycle diversification for the core portion of the portfolio. 

Ohio PERS' investment staff also believes that the risk-control procedures implemented by the manager should increase the expected risk-adjusted returns.

The pension fund invested $100m into Granite in October 2007.

At the time, Granite had achieved strong excess returns during the previous years of 2005-06 as it was being transformed from the Tower fund to the Granite Property fund. 

The fund was the best-performing open-ended commingled fund on a total return basis during 2006.

Granite has 80% of its assets in core transactions. 

The balance of the portfolio can be invested in value-add transactions that can include some development opportunities. 

Granite invests in the four main property types of office, industrial, retail and apartments, targeting the major and primary markets in the US.

The commitment to Granite represents the fourth major transaction Ohio PERS has completed this year in the core, open-ended fund sector. 

In April, the pension fund took $300m out of the UBS Trumbull Property fund, while in July it sold another $50m out of this fund and $175m out of the JP Morgan Strategic Property fund.