Louisiana Teachers commits to Walton Street

The $14.6 billion pension system has agreed to pledge $50 million to Walton Street Real Estate Fund VII.

The Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana has approved a commitment of $50 million to Walton Street Capital's latest value-added and opportunistic real estate fund.

The $14.6 billion pension system approved Hamilton Lane's recommendation to pledge up to $50 million to Walton Street Real Estate Fund VII earlier this month. Fund VII is targeting $2 billion in equity commitments for value-added and distressed properties in the US. In particular, the fund will target properties in the office and hotel segments.

Philip Griffith, chief investment officer with Louisiana Teachers, told PERE that this marks the pension system's second commitment to the Chicago-based private equity real estate firm, as it is an investor in Walton Street's Fund VI. “We've had good success with Fund VI,” he said. “Long term, they've had good results with the real estate funds they've run. Overall, the team is intact, and we've seen good performance.”

Louisiana Teachers has targeted between $225 million and $275 million in real estate investments for the current fiscal year, which began on 30 June 2011. Prior to its commitment to Walton Street, the pension plan pledged $100 million to JPMorgan's core fund and $50 million to a core fund from Prudential Real Estate Investors. Griffith said he expects Louisiana Teachers to invest in one more fund by 30 June.