UNITED STATES - New York State Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS) announced two new investments in real estate funds signed off during the last quarter - a $50m (€41m) commitment to the Westbrook Real Estate Fund IX and a $50m allocation to Starwood Distressed Global Fund IX.

NYSTRS considers both funds - which will invest in Europe, Japan and the US - to be opportunistic.

They will consider investing in multiple property types and strategies, including single assets and portfolios and taking ownership positions in real estate operating companies.

NYSTRS has a total real estate portfolio valued at $10.5bn, as at the end of March 2012.

In other news, the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System has approved a Request for Proposal to hire managers to run a portfolio of domestic REIT securities. 

The board of trustees authorised a $40m commitment to the KTR Industrial Fund III.

The amount of capital that will be allocated for the REIT manager search has not yet been determined. 

Kansas PERS said in an email that the search - which will be conducted with its consultancy, the Townsend Group - would take six months to complete from start to finish. 

Kansas PERS' existing REIT portfolio was valued at $109m as at the end of June. 

The pension fund is planning to use the MSCI US REIT index as the benchmark for the new portfolio.

Industrial Fund III is an industrial-only commingled fund managed by KTR Capital Partners that looks for properties or sites in strong logistic markets in North America. 

Transactions for the fund will include buying existing properties and making investments in new development projects.

Kansas PERS has previously made a $20m commitment to the KTR Industrial Fund II.