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Texas Teachers earmarks $500m to RE

The $128.5 billion pension fund made follow-on commitments to Almanac, Westbrook and Oaktree last month.

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) wrote checks totaling $500 million to three of its existing real estate managers in June, according to a new commitment document that the pension plan released last week.

The pension system committed $200 million to Almanac Realty Investors’ CMTG Investor vehicle, a sidecar investment vehicle into one of the New York-based private equity real estate firm’s portfolio companies, Claros Mortgage Trust. In October, Almanac announced that it committed up to $262.5 million as the lead investor in the newly formed real estate investment trust through its latest real estate fund, Almanac Realty Securities VII. TRS has been a longtime investor in Almanac’s real estate funds, having doled out capital to the firm’s Almanac Realty Securities V, VI and VII. The fund series focuses on investments in public and private real estate companies.

TRS’ board of directors also has preapproved up to $100 million in co-investments through Westbrook Partners’ F55 Opportunity Longhorn Fund, a vehicle through which the pension plan can potentially invest in deals alongside Westbrook’s most recent opportunistic fund, Westbrook Real Estate Fund X. PERE understands that such preapproval allows TRS’ real estate staff to execute quickly on transactions if suitable deals materialize. The public institution has been a limited partner in multiple opportunistic funds sponsored by the New York-based real estate fund manager. In addition to Westbrook Real Estate Fund X, to which the pension plan committed $200 million last year, TRS also invested $150 million in Westbrook Real Estate Fund IX and $100 million to Westbrook Real Estate Fund VIII.

Additionally, the pension plan designated $200 million to Oaktree Capital Management’s latest opportunistic fund, Oaktree Real Estate Opportunities Fund (ROF) VII. TRS invested $150 million in the firm’s predecessor vehicle, ROF VI, according to PERE research. The ROF funds target investments in commercial, non-US and residential real estate; residential and commercial nonperforming loans, corporate transactions; and structured finance.

The Los Angeles-based private equity real estate firm launched ROF VII in September 2014 with a $3 billion target, according to filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Oaktree began investing the vehicle’s capital in January, PERE previously reported. Oaktree disclosed in its fourth-quarter earnings results that it had raised $2.1 billion for ROF VII as of year-end 2015.

The pension fund managed $128.5 billion in total assets as of August 31, according to its website. TRS has committed $2.3 billion to real assets to date in 2016.

With additional reporting by Meghan Morris