UNITED STATES - The University of California (UCAL) has moved into the separate account real estate space for the first time signing a relationship with Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers.

This is the latest example of pension funds in the United States creating more separate account relationships.

One theory for this shift is some managers now have more time on specific relationships as they have less capital available to invest in the marketplace than a couple of years ago.

UCAL has allocated $100m (€70.6m) for the separate account with Cornerstone - 90%-funded by the University of California Retirement Plan and 10% from its General Endowment Plan.

Industry sources say it is not a huge surprise to see UCAL has hired Cornerstone as Gloria Gil, investment officer for real asset investments at UCAL  had a long and successful relationship with Cornerstone when she was real estate investment officer at Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA).

But University of California is looking at creating additional separate account relationships, and UCALis now said to be considering a separate account deal with JP Morgan Asset Management for a potential allocation of $100m.