UNITED STATES - Wisconsin State Investment Board has expanded the duties for its real estate consultant, Courtland Partners, as officials at the pension fund say its remit is becoming more complicated.

Courtland has been tasked with providing the performance monitoring of all real estate holdings, as well as additional due diligence and investment recommendations, as part of a new contract extending until 2010.

Wisconsin State thinks real estate investment management is becoming more complicated given the substantial change happening in the marketplace and with more managers and commingled funds to consider.

The pension fund first began working with the consultant in April 2005 and was initially only contracted to cover investment reporting services.

But Wisconsin State had a real estate portfolio valued at $7.7bn (€5.3bn) by 30 June and has hit its 5% target allocation to real estate, having invested in a variety of real estate strategies over the past 12 months.

Some of those transactions have had an international focus, including an $80m commitment to the Rockspring TransEuropean Properties IV commingled fund.

Earlier this year, the pension fund also expanded into investing in hotels for the first time when it made a $150m commitment made to the Cornerstone Hotel Income & Equity Fund II commingled fund.

Wisconsin State has also been placing some capital into a structured finance strategy through a $50m commitment made to Guggenheim Structured Real Estate III.

The annual fee for this work by Courtland is $285,000.