Employees Retirement System of Texas plans to invest $250m (€236m) in infrastructure, but will avoid competitive core assets.
The US pension fund could go as high as $325m during its 2018 fiscal year, depending on opportunities, according to a board meeting document.
Between September of this year and August 2018, Texas Employees expects to make four to five new investments in a mixture of funds, co-investments and direct deals.
Investment staff are taking an opportunistic approach to infrastructure, rather than focusing on predetermined sectors or geographies.
Texas Employees has noted that capital is often being targeted at core infrastructure assets or those with a perceived lower risk profile, pushing out many investors with higher costs of capital.
The pension fund, which has a global investment strategy for infrastructure, believes that mid-market, value-add and opportunistic assets attract less competition and therefore generally present better risk-adjusted value compared with core assets.
Investments will be considered with the pension fund’s private infrastructure consultant, Pavilion Alternatives Group.
The pension fund will continue to search for proprietary opportunities, preferable not competitively bid and will continue to meet with industry participants.
So far, Texas Employees’ infrastructure transactions have included individual assets in Western Europe, the US and North America across the power/utilities, maritime transportation/shipping, telecommunications and energy sectors.
At end of 2016, infrastructure had a net asset value of $441m – less than 2% of its total assets.
The pension is expects to reach its 4% target allocation for infrastructure by the end of its 2020 fiscal year.