US - The State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) has approved $170m (€138.4m) in new real estate commitments for the second quarter.

SWIB will invest $100m in the Lowe Debt Separate Account, $50m in the WESCO I and $20m in the UBS Trumbull Property fund.

Vicki Hearing, public information officer at SWIB, wrote in an email that the investment strategy for the account with Lowe would be to provide first mortgage loans with a focus on value-add hotel assets. 

This will be a nationwide programme in the US, with the large markets in the country being targeted.

Lowe Enterprises Investors will be the manager of the debt separate account with SWIB. 

The pension fund is projecting that the returns on the account will be in the high single-digit range.

The pension fund's investment in WESCO I is a follow-on commitment to a joint venture with Essex Property Trust to invest in apartments on the West Coast. 

Hearing said the pension fund made the new commitment to Essex because it was one of SWIB's best performing multifamily operating partners.

SWIB had first made a $100m commitment to WESCO I last year. 

The pension fund has earned a 19.5% return on this investment since it was formed.

The UBS Trumbull investment is the first time the pension fund has committed capital into the core, open-ended fund. 

This capital had been part of a multi-asset class portfolio valued at $370m that had been managed by UBS and was closed down.

SWIB has a real estate portfolio valued at more than $5bn through the end of June, placing it right at its strategic target allocation for real estate of 6.7%.