UK - Jenny Buck, the newly appointed head of property at the Tesco pension fund, will target higher returns by investing outside core real estate.

The former head of property multi-manager at Schroders will seek to benefit from the relative immaturity of the Tesco PLC Pension Scheme to take on more risk in a bid to close its £1bn (€1.1bn) deficit.

Delegates at the IPD/IPF Property Investment Conference in the UK heard how Buck was "in a privileged place" to look at a wide range of real estate investment opportunities at a time when many investors were retrenching to the core markets.

She said she was "quite excited" over the growing volume of distressed property investment opportunities coming through to the market.

Buck has the task of building up Tesco Pensions' in-house property investment team and she told the audience in Brighton that she would look "across the capital stack" and consider investing in real estate debt.

The pension fund is under pressure to reduce its deficit and Buck said the property allocation would need to consider investments outside the core space to achieve its return requirements.

Trustees of the pension scheme have in recent years agreed to accept £500m in property assets from its sponsor Tesco.

Earlier this year it entered into a sale-and-leaseback deal for existing properties and development assets worth £685m as a 50-50 joint venture.