NORTH AMERICA - The Montana State Board of Investment is planning to put $138m (€107.2m) into real estate over the next 12 months.

David Ewer, executive director for Montana, said: "We are thinking about placing this capital into value-add and timber kind of investments. The goal with this strategy is to achieve additional levels of diversification for our pension plan."

The pension fund will be looking to place the capital through a total of six separate investment vehicles, with assistance from its general investment consultant RV Kuhns. 

These would include the hiring of two of its existing real estate mangers for their next value-added commingled funds, one new value-add manager, one new timber manager and potentially two other new managers.

In other news, San Francisco Employees' Retirement System has approved a $40m commitment into the TriGate Property Partners II, an opportunity fund that focuses on credit-distress situations in the US.

TriGate Capital is the manager of Property Partners II. 

The total equity raise is projected to be $300m. 

The fund manager will be making a $10m co-investment into the fund. 

This investment will be 80% funded by TriGate Capital as a company and 20% by the senior advisers at TriGate Capital Chris Hashioka, Devin Murphy, Jeff Dritley and Todd Williams.

As of July, TriGate had one signed contract from one investor for Property Partners II, a $50m commitment from CalSTRS. 

CalSTRS invested $1.5m of seed money into the company when it was formed in 2007. 
A final close on the fund is planned for July of 2012.

TriGate is targeting a 15% net IRR with a 1.8x to 2x equity multiple.  The overall portfolio leverage on the commingled fund is capped at 65%. 

The investment period for the fund is three years after the final close.

Meanwhile, the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board has approved a $30m commitment into the Brookfield Brazil Timber Fund II.

Brookfield is targeting a $200m total capital raise. 

The company will be making a co-investment into the fund - either 25% of the aggregate commitments of the fund or $50m, whichever is less.

New Mexico stated in a board meeting document that the size of the co-investment was substantially above industry standards in terms of the general partner commitment. 

Most commingled fund managers have a co-investment of 5-10% of the total commitments to a fund.

Timber Fund II has a primary investment objective to generate income and capital appreciation through investing in equity and equity-related investments in timberlands or timber-related assets located in Brazil. 

Brookfield will have a 10-year fund term with two one-year extensions for Timber Fund II.

The investment period for the fund will last for 36 months.

New Mexico has placed the commitment for Timber Fund II into its real assets investment category; it has a 7% allocation for the asset class. 

With the new commitment, the pension fund has now reached approximately 62% of its allocation for real assets. Some of the investments in the asset class include timber, agriculture and mitigation banking.

Lastly, Maine Public Employees Retirement System has voted to approve a $75m allocation to the IFM Global Infrastructure Partners (US) LP.

The pension fund's chief investment officer, Andrew Sawyer, said: "IFM has a good track record in the infrastructure space and had a strong existing investment portfolio that we can invest into."

Global Infrastructure Partners is a $5bn open-ended investment fund first established in 2006. 

It invests in a variety of infrastructure assets such as transportation systems, waterways and airports.

The investment represents Maine PERS's first foray into open-ended infrastructure funds.

All of its previous investments in the sector have been in closed-end partnerships, including commitments with Alinda Capital Partners and ArcLight Energy Partners.

Maine PERS has now invested a total of $230m in infrastructure, with total commitments of $500m in the sector. 

The pension fund has a targeted allocation for infrastructure of 5% of its $11bn of total plan assets.