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New Jersey seeks RE consultant

The pension system will award a five-year contract to its next consultant, with proposals due June 1.

The New Jersey Division of Investment is seeking a real estate consultant for a five-year contract, it said in a request for proposals issued Thursday.

The pension system is accepting proposals through June 15 but did not provide a timeframe for subsequent steps in the hiring process.

Its previous real estate consultant was RVK, the Portland, Oregon-based consultancy. RVK’s real estate team spun out in February to form a Chicago-based firm called Alignium, PERE previously reported. Since the spinout, the seven-person team has inked contracts with other US pension funds, including Fort Worth Employees’ Retirement Fund, which has worked with the Alignium team since 2009. NJDOI did not indicate if another firm was acting as its real estate consultant in the interim.

In its RFP, NJDOI said it is looking for firms that have at least two clients with real estate portfolios larger than $500 million in commitments, and those led by principals with at least three years’ experience in the real estate consulting space. The firm must also have or have access to a database of domestic and international real estate funds and/or managers.

The consultant’s duties include drafting NJDOI’s real estate investment policies, making recommendations and reviewing the real estate portfolio quarterly for property type and geographic diversification, liquidity and market trends. Additionally, the consultant will perform an annual asset allocation review for the real estate portfolio and make recommendations.

NJDOI is also asking the consultant to provide investment education and training to its staff. The pension system requires two senior consultants at the firm to be assigned to NJDOI, with the lead consultant handling no more than five primary clients during NJDOI’s contract.

The chosen consultant will have a five-year contract, with options for two one-year extensions.

The pension system had $7.1 billion invested in real estate as of October 31, with $1.6 billion in real estate debt and $5.5 billion in equity, according to the RFP.

NJDOI’s entire RFP can be found here.