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KPERS earmarks $325m to RE

The pension system will make $50 million to $65 million commitments to funds investing in the US and Europe.

The Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (Kansas PERS) has earmarked up to $325 million for real estate commitments next year.

In 2016, the $16.6 billion pension system plans to allocate as much as $150 million to core vehicles and up to $175 million to non-core funds, according to media reports. The pension system will make $50 million to $65 million commitments to funds investing in the US and Europe. KPERS plans to allocate capital to core funds by making follow-on investments with existing managers.

The $325 million real estate allocation plan for 2016 falls slightly below the Topeka-based pension plan’s projected outlay for real estate in 2015, which would entail investing up to $200 million in core and $150 million in non-core investments this year. In October, KPERS allocated $175 million to Prudential Real Estate Investors' PRISA, an open-ended core fund.

Earlier this year, in January, the pension system allocated up to $40 million to Harrison Street Real Estate Partners V, an $850 million opportunistic fund, according to meeting minutes. In March, KPERS committed $50 million to JP Morgan Asset Management’s Strategic Property Fund, a follow-on commitment to its 2013 investment of $125 million to the same core fund, according to PERE Research & Analytics. The following month, the pension plan chose JP Morgan as its core real estate investment manager. Last month, KPERS allocated $40 million to Rockwood Capital’s value-add fund, Rockwood X.

The pension system provides three statewide defined-benefit retirement plans for state and local public employees. KPERS is comprised of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, Kansas Police and Firemen's Retirement System and Kansas Retirement System for Judges.

The Townsend Group is the pension fund’s real estate consultant.