GLOBAL - ORG Real Property has won a real-estate consultancy tender from the Santa Barbara County Employees Retirement System that will give the company full investment discretion.

With the news, announced during Santa Barbara County's 23 June board meeting, ONG beats out rivals Courtland Partners and The Townsend Group

Santa Barbara County said it would work with ORG to come up with a long-term investment strategy for real estate over the next couple of months.

The pension fund has a current real estate portfolio valued at about $35m (€27.9m), meaning it has invested approximately 2% in the asset class.

Its current investments are in three commingled funds - RREEF America II, CB Richard Ellis Strategic Partners US Value V and Rockwood Capital Real Estate Partners Fund VIII - a combination of core and value-added funds.

Santa Barbara County said its targeted allocation for real estate on a long-term basis would be 6%, with total plan assets of around $1.7bn.

According to pension fund officials, the strategy going forward will be fairly open, considering a mix of strategies, both core and value-added.

Santa Barbara County said would prefer to invest the capital in the US. 

No less than $30m is planned for potential investment between now and the end of the year.