NORTH AMERICA - Texas Municipal Retirement System is to make a final decision in September on its $500m (€400m) search for real estate managers.

The current shortlist comprises a total of five funds, including JP Morgan's open-ended Strategic Property Fund. The remaining funds are a mixture of a small specialty core vehicles, two real estate investment trusts and a real estate debt vehicle.

JP Morgan Asset Management's fund, at $19bn, is currently one of the largest in the market, with a $1bn entry queue. As a result, any new commitments would not be drawn down for around six months.

The search, launched in July, has been conducted by Texas Municipal's real estate consultant ORG Portfolio Management and was not subject to the usual request for proposal procedure. Instead, the consultancy used its own database and based on its questionnaire drew up a shortlist of managers and funds best suited to the public scheme's needs.

Texas Municipal currently falls far short of its 10% targeted real estate allocation, with the real estate portfolio - valued at $275.3 million at the end of July - amounting to 1.41% of the $19.6 billion of total plan assets.