GLOBAL - The Wisconsin State Investment Board has said it is looking to step up its real estate investment activity.

The board said it had a current pipeline of real estate investments under review totalling $900m (€690m).

This would represent a significant increase from the amount of investment the pension fund had completed through the third quarter of 2010. 

So far this year, it had completed only $87.3m of investments in the asset class.

The largest of the potential new investments is a $300m commitment to a core open-ended commingled fund.

All of the other commitments under consideration are for $100m, ranging from a debt separate-account strategy to placing capital into a senior housing commingled fund to buy senior living properties.

All potential investments were detailed during a real estate investment update on 23 November. The commitments already made this year were in two separate strategies.

One was a $12.3m additional investment into the Milestone Joint Venture, which owns apartment complexes and is managed by Heitman. The additional capital was used to refinance a portion of the existing portfolio.

The other $75m went to a side-car investment for a commingled debt fund managed by Mesa West Capital.

Wisconsin has a real estate portfolio valued at $2.8bn, as at the end of June. This does not include $1.2bn of unfunded commitments for real estate. 

When combined, this amounts to 5.8% of investments in real estate. This puts it close to the 6% targeted allocation for the asset class.