GLOBAL - The School Employees Retirement System of Ohio is aiming to invest as much as $125m in real estate over the next 12 months.

The funding, discussed and approved at the 18 June board meeting, will be part of the pension fund's annual investment plan for fiscal year 2011. 

Pension fund officials said a good portion of the capital would be invested in commingled funds with an international investment strategy. 

This will be with two existing managers - Rockspring Property Investment Managers and The Carlyle Group - which have stood out and deserve serious consideration as their follow-on funds come to market, officials said.

Ohio School Employees made a €25m commitment to Rockspring TransEuropean IV in 2007, while an investment of $50m was made to Carlyle Asia Real Estate Partners II in 2008.

Officials said part of the reason for funding additional investments on an international basis was that the pension fund was under-invested in this sector. 

For international real estate, it has a 15% target allocation for its real estate portfolio.

Through the end of 2009, it had invested 13% on an international basis. 

The real estate portfolio for international assets was split up, with 25% in the UK, 25% in Asia and the balance in Continental Europe. 

Ohio School Employees also wants to increase the amount it has invested in core, open-ended commingled funds. 

The pension fund is below the range of 50-60% it wants for core real estate.

To get to this level, it could invest as much as another $50m in the sector. 

The pension fund wants to accomplish this by investing some additional capital with existing open-ended fund managers.

Ohio School Employees already has some exposure to some of the top-performing real estate managers. 

The fund has invested $105m in JP Morgan's Strategic Property fund and $65m in the UBS Trumbull Property fund.