MassPRIM seeks real estate, timberland consultant

Real estate has recently outperformed the $63bn pension system's overall portfolio.

The Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board will issue a request for proposals for a real estate and timber consultant, PERE's sister publication, Agri Investor, reported Thursday.

Townsend Group, which invests in real assets, is MassPRIM’s current advisor on real estate and timber investments. MassPrim held about 10 percent, or $6.3 billion, of its portfolio in real estate as of August 31, according to its most recent investment report. Timber comprised about $2 billion of the $62.7 billion portfolio.

Townsend’s work for MassPRIM, which started in 2011 and was renewed for three years in August 2014, includes strategic and portfolio services, support for other requests for proposals and an annual report on the fund’s real estate holdings.

In addition to the annual fee of $300,000 a year MassPRIM pays to Townsend for real estate consulting, the pension paid an additional $75,000 this year for advice on its timber investments, according to an email from the pension’s director of communications, Eric Convey.

A Townsend representative did not return calls seeking comment by press time. The firm has assets under management of $14.7 billion, according to its website.

In the year ending August 31, MassPrim's real estate had a 13.6 percent rate of return compared with 8.7 percent for the overall portfolio, according to the pension's most recent investment report.