NORTH AMERICA – The Alaska Retirement Management Board (ARMB) is set to tender a $100m (€75m) infrastructure mandate, nearly doubling its current allocation to the asset class, and said the tendered portfolio could soon increase in size.

Gary Bader, CIO at the pension manager, said: "There are several investment features we like about infrastructure. These would include diversification versus the other kinds of investments we have in our portfolio, an inflation hedge and a good, solid yield."

The manager has an existing investment in energy infrastructure valued at $108m, only a fraction of the $21.6bn in assets under management at the end of January.

Alaska will be conducting the search along with its investment consultant, Callan Associates, with initial results not expected to be presented to the pension manager's board until June.

It said it would consider a variety of investment structures for infrastructure.  

"We will consider all types of ways to invest in infrastructure, such as closed-end and open-ended commingled funds, separate accounts, co-investments and public securities that invest in the product type," Bader said.

ARMB, which manages the assets of the state's pension funds, said it would hold the infrastructure investments within its real assets portfolio – covering its real estate, timber and agriculture holdings.

Meanwhile, Penwood Real Estate Investment Management said it was thinking to expand beyond its current core market of Southern California and invest in industrial properties in Northern New Jersey.

The company has limited its exposure to Californian real estate since it was founded a decade ago.

John Hurley, co-founder of Penwood, said: "We always wanted to be a player investing capital in Northern New Jersey. The market has a very large population base and a strong global distribution network to take advantage of."

The New Jersey operation will be headed by Howard Freeman, managing director of acquisitions.

Freeman recently ran the East Coast office of Cohen Asset Management and has 20 years of real estate experience.

Penwood said one-quarter of each deal's value would be on behalf of its California Select Industrial Partners III commingled fund. 

The firm is hopeful it will be able to commit the first capital before the end of the first quarter.  

The real estate manager closed the fund last year with a $125m equity raise – with a $50m contribution from the New York State Teachers Retirement System.

The fund will target value-added industrial properties, with leverage no higher than 50%.