Ohio Police & Fire backs first European-focused fund

The pension plan committed €50 million ($57 million) to PW Real Assets’ opportunistic fund.

The Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund committed €50 million ($57 million) to PW Real Assets’ PW Real Estate Fund III last week. It is the first European-focused fund for the Columbus, Ohio-based pension plan, which manages about $14 billion.

Ohio is seeking better returns after its real estate portfolio had a net return of 3.7 percent in the second quarter, well under its 12 percent target. Its investments in the asset class make up about 10 percent of its portfolio, according to the pension’s website.

The New Jersey Division of Investment (NDJOI) is another investor in the opportunistic fund, which will deploy capital to European real estate investments across property types, according to NJDOI meeting materials. The firm invests in both properties and private operating companies. The target fund size is €1.25 billion with a hard cap of €1.5 billion.

The fund focuses on Western Europe, especially the UK, Germany, France and Spain. Its target return is 9 percent, according to NJDOI documents. PWRA’s first fund has returned a net internal rate of return of 15 percent, and the second has returned 11 percent net IRR, according to NJDOI.

The fund, along with PWRA’s 20-person staff and management, is independent from the New York-based advisory and asset management firm Perella Weinberg, which formally split with its real estate unit – now PW Real Assets – in August. Bressler, the former chairman and chief executive of French property giant Unibail, set up Perella Weinberg’s first real estate fund in 2006 and raised two funds before the separation. He is no longer a Perella Weinberg active limited partner.

The Townsend Group, a Cleveland, Ohio-based institutional real estate consultant, advised Ohio on the fund commitment.