GLOBAL - The Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund is exploring the possibility of making larger investments into either commingled funds or separate accounts.

The size mooted at the 29 September board meeting was $500m (€362.6m) - the pension fund had made previous commitments in the range of $100m or more.

Officials said the two strategies would give the fund greater control over its real estate investments in future.

They added that addressing any financial stress with the investment was likely to be much easier with fewer investors in the commingled fund.

Oregon PERF has made a recent commitment to a new club fund, a $100m allocation to the Waterton Residential Property Fund 11.

This is a club fund being raised by Waterton Associates - the real estate manager is expecting to have its first closing by mid November.

The total equity raise for the fund will be in the range of $300m-500m. 

Earlier this year, Waterton had spoken with the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System about investing in the commingled fund.

Fund 11 is Waterton's first club fund. California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) has backed all of its previous institutional-backed funds, but is still looking at making a commitment to Fund 11.

The relationship between Waterton and CalSTRS began in June of 2002 with an $85m commitment. The pension fund has placed a value on this investment at $211m, as at 30 March.

The club fund will invest in apartments only, buying existing properties that have a value-added component or acquiring distressed debt on apartments. Only deals in the US will be considered.