CalPERS buys stake in Bentall Kennedy

The $218 billion state pension system has invested $100 million in the North American real estate advisor, making it a one-third owner of the firm.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has invested approximately $100 million in real estate investment advisor Bentall Kennedy. In doing so, the $228 billion state pension system is now a one-third owner in the firm, which has offices in Toronto, Vancouver and Seattle.  

According to statements by CalPERS and Bentall Kennedy, the Sacramento-based pension plan acquired the ownership interest in Bentall Kennedy that has been held for the past two decades by Ivanhoe Cambridge, the real estate investment subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. The remaining two-thirds ownership is evenly split between the British Columbia Investment Management and Bentall Kennedy’s senior management team.

“Ivanhoé Cambridge has been a significant owner in our firm for almost 20 years,” said Gary Whitelaw, chief executive officer of Bentall Kennedy, in a statement. “The seamless transfer of their ownership to a new strategic partner is beneficial for all involved.”

Ted Eliopoulos, senior investment officer for CalPERS’ real estate programme, added: “This investment supports our long-term strategic goals in real estate and aligns us with a strong investment partner.”

The investment marks a new strategic move for CalPERS to engage the pension plan and its staff with an experienced real estate investment and management team. CalPERS has been a client of Bentall Kennedy for more than 15 years. Crosswater Realty Advisors acted as a consultant to CalPERS on the deal. 

“This relationship will allow our real estate team to further expand on trends and opportunities in real estate investment and management,” said Rob Feckner, president of CalPERS’ board.