GLOBAL - The Texas Employees' Retirement System has hired Aberdeen Asset Management to manage an €85m pan-European multi-manager portfolio.
Aberdeen global head of property multi-manager Jon Lekander said the separate-account mandate reflected a clear increase in global demand for pan-European real estate - although the demand has local characteristics.
Whereas Asian investors are more likely to invest directly in gateway cities, US investors are positioning themselves to be ready when the European market begins to recover, he told IP Real Estate.
"US investors don't necessarily want to invest today because they want a better grip of what's happening in Europe, though even now we have a better idea than we had in the autumn," said Lekander.
The Texas Employees' Retirement System is an exception.
In a statement, director of real estate Robert Sessa identified European market volatility as an opportunity to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns.
Lekander said investors were more likely to target markets in northwest Europe than troubled Southern European economies.
"But there's a realisation among US investors that, although the economic situation is dire today, forecasts might overshoot on the downside, and there will be opportunities there," he said.
He said investor interest in multi-manager had been "awakening" over the past 12-18 months as a somewhat lagged reflection of a more general real estate recovery.
"It had to do with the recovery of the property market, but it takes longer to happen," he said.
"If you're not located in the region, and you don't have staff on the ground, multi-manager could well be the best solution."
Aberdeen currently manages multi-manager portfolios worth $2bn (€1.5bn).