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Ohio School Employees commits $118m to RE

The Ohio pension fund allocated money to UBS for the first time and to Rockspring’s latest core-plus/value-added fund.

The School Employees Retirement System of Ohio (SERS) made a first-time commitment to real estate arm of Swiss financial services giant UBS and re-upped with existing general partner Rockspring Property Investment Management.

On Tuesday, the pension fund said it allocated $75 million commitment to UBS Trumbull Property Income Fund, an open-ended core real estate vehicle. Other investors include the Montana Board of Investments and the Nebraska Investment Council, which added $6 million in September to its August 2014 commitment of $60 million.

UBS has invested a majority of the vehicle’s capital in apartments, according to a firm presentation, making income-oriented investments with little or no leverage. Through a real estate investment trust, in August the firm purchased a majority stake in Portland’s US Bancorp Tower, known as Big Pink for its hue and its status as the largest office building in the city.

SERS also made a €40 million commitment to Rockspring TransEuropean Property VI, the London-based real estate investment manager’s latest European core-plus/value-added fund.

Rockspring held a €217.5 million first close for the vehicle in October. The firm is aiming to corral €400 million for the fund, which is the largest target for Rockspring’s TransEuropean series since it was first launched in 1992. The fund, which has a €500 million hard cap, will use up to 55 percent leverage so total fire power will be close to €1 billion.

SERS has invested in the series’ earlier funds, allocating $34 million to the firm’s fifth fund from 2011 and investing in the firm’s fourth fund in 2007. The London-based investment firm manages €7.9 billion in assets as of March, according to its website. Since the launch of TransEuropean I, Rockspring has invested €1.7 billion from the series in 14 European countries, achieving an 13.1 percent internal rate of return since inception.