UNITED STATES - The School Employees Retirement System of Ohio has approved a commitment of $50m (€34.2m) in the Carlyle Asia Real Estate Partners II commingled fund.

Pension fund officials say they agreed at its board meetings on 18 and 19 September the investment was attractive as it will internationally diversify the real estate portfolio and is projected to deliver gross IRR in the range of 20-30% over the long-term.

Ohio School Employees is not the only scheme looking at this fund as Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System is also understood to be discussing a possible commitment at its board meeting later this month.

The scheme's decision is in line with its annual real estate investment plan for the 2009 fiscal year as one part of this plan was to continue the expansion of its international real estate strategy beyond Western Europe - a target accomplished by placing capital into an Asian fund.

The pension fund's long-term goal is to have 15% of its real estate portfolio being invested in an international strategy.

Ohio School Employees and Carlyle do have some history together as the pension fund made a $50m commitment to Carlyle Realty Partners V in 2006.

This latest commingled fund is being marketed as an opportunity fund investing in a variety of single asset or entire portfolios of property types.