Fort Worth pension hires new RE consultant

The Texas-based pension fund has worked with the team that founded Alignium since 2009.

Fort Worth Employees’ Retirement Fund has brought on Alignium as its new real estate consultant, approving the selection at its monthly meeting last week.

Alignium was founded in February after the real estate consulting group at Portland, Oregon-based consultancy RVK spun out, PERE previously reported. Led by three managing principals, Alignium – whose name derives from the word alignment – is based in Chicago. The seven-person firm is first concentrating its business on real estate, with an interest in adding other real assets – such as infrastructure and agriculture – in the future.

FWERF has worked with the Alignium team since 2009, Joelle Mevi, the pension system’s chief investment officer, told PERE. In that time, FWERF has made about $300 million in real estate commitments, said Mark Bartmann, one of Alignium’s managing principals. The RVK team originally helped FWERF to take its formerly US-centric real estate portfolio global.

“We’ve really enjoyed working with Fort Worth,” Bartmann said. “What we’re doing now with this new contract is just a continuation of what we’ve done with them…We’re not in any real rush today to put a lot of money out, considering where the portfolio is and how we feel about market opportunities.”

The pension system is keeping RVK as its general investment consultant.

FWERF had about 12 percent of its $2.1 billion portfolio invested in real estate as of December 31, according to its website. Real estate returned 10.1 percent in the first three quarters of 2016.