AustralianSuper has awarded its second mandate to invest in US real estate, hiring Principal Real Estate Investors.

Principal will source office investments on advisory basis for Australia’s largest superannuation scheme, which already invests in US retail markets through QIC.

The move mirrors AustralianSuper’s approach to investment in the UK, where mandates for office and retail investment were given separately. In June, TIAA Henderson Real Estate was hired to manage a central London office investment strategy. The mandate came a year after the real estate arm of Henderson Global Investors – now part of TIAA Henderson Real Estate – was appointed by AustralianSuper to invest in UK retail.

AustralianSuper said the latest, non-discretionary mandate will focus on large, high-quality office investments in New York, Washington DC, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Investments will be made either directly or through joint ventures in properties worth $200m or more.

AustralianSuper, which currently manages $5.2bn in real estate holdings as part of its $70bn in funds under management, has awarded a number of mandates in the past 18 months as it seeks to increase its global real estate exposure.

Jack McGougan, head of property at AustralianSuper, said the fund had tracked the US market for an ”extended period of time”.

“We see good long-term opportunities in select markets to continue to build our international property portfolio,” he said.