UNITED STATES - Orange County Employees Retirement System has approved real estate investments totaling $116m (€86.4m) to be invested in a mixture of public and private real estate.

The pension fund approved $75m of capital to be managed by LaSalle Investment Management as its global REIT manager - an amount equal to 10% of the target real estate allocation as of March 31, 2007 – at its June 18 board meeting.

LaSalle’s mandate will be benchmarked against the EPRA-NAREIT Global Index as Orange County believes this is the most inclusive of the universe of global real estate securities in part because it requires listed companies derive a significant portion of its revenue from real estate activities.

LaSalle is said to have been selected because of its conservative investment approach and an investment process that combines a real estate investment orientation with a value-based equity investment discipline.

Orange County Employees also liked LaSalle because it had more than just a REIT investment history because, in addition to managing global real estate securities, about 80% of LaSalle’s assets under management are in direct real estate and LaSalle offered the lowest asset management fees at about 60 basis points.

Orange County Employees has also approved a $41m allocation to CB Richard Ellis Strategic Partners US Value Fund V, designed to achieve a 16% leveraged IRR return.

Assets from the commingled fund will be split into two entities, the first of which is a value-added fund with a total equity raise of $2.2bn while the second is an opportunity fund with an equity raise of $1.8bn.

Investments will be made in all of the four property types - office, industrial, retail and apartments but CB Ellis’s main strategy is to buy existing assets and improve through re-development, re-positioning and new leasing.