Aberdeen lands European mandate for Texas ERS

The Texas pension system has committed €85 million to Aberdeen to invest in European real estate funds, with the firm’s property multi-manager team seeking value-added and opportunistic strategies.

The Employees Retirement System (ERS) of Texas has awarded a European multi-manager mandate to Aberdeen Asset Management. The $23 billion pension system confirmed that it has committed €85 million to the Scotland-based asset manager. 

According to a statement, Aberdeen’s property multi-manager team based in Sweden will construct and manage a pan-European portfolio on behalf of ERS. The firm, which will manage investments in real estate funds rather than invest directly in property, will seek a broad spectrum of funds targeting all property types across continental Europe and the UK. It also will seek opportunities with an emphasis on value-added and opportunistic property funds.

“We believe the current market volatility in Europe will provide us with attractive risk-adjusted investment opportunities,” said Robert Sessa, director of real estate at ERS. “We look forward to working with the Aberdeen team.” 

Sessa added: “The Aberdeen fund will be focussed on small- to mid-sized managers targeting niche strategies that would be difficult for us to underwrite.  Additionally, going through a fund of funds allows us to invest in more funds than we could otherwise do, giving us increased diversification.” ERS previously had invested in one other European private real estate fund, a $50 million commitment to the M&G European Real Estate Debt Fund last year.

Jon Lekander, global head of property multi-manager for Aberdeen, added: “We are very pleased with the decision from ERS of Texas in awarding us this mandate. We are seeing increasing interest from US institutional investors as they look to take advantage of opportunities afforded by market re-pricing in Europe and to diversify their property exposure into overseas markets.” 

Aberdeen currently manages approximately $2 billion in European property multi-manager mandates, with further assets under management in Asia and the Americas.