Wisconsin commits $150m to Blackstone

The $80 billion state investment board has invested in BREP VII, as well as hiring Heitman to manage a $20 million separate account.

The State of Wisconsin Investment Board has resolved to invest in The Blackstone Group's latest opportunistic mega-fund. 

Documents from the $80 billion state pension plan reveal that the Badger State recently committed $150 million to Blackstone Real Estate Partners (BREP) VII, a global opportunistic real estate fund that currently is targeting $10 billion in capital commitments. 

In addition, the pension has hired Heitman to manage $20 million through a separate account focused on real estate debt. A spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Investment Board told PERE that the staff reported the investment in BREP VII and the hiring of Heitman to the board in November.

BREP VII will focus primarily on US and Canadian markets across a range of real estate and real estate-related investments. Its overall strategy is to acquire high-quality assets by targeting large, complicated situations where competition is limited. Blackstone had raised at least $4.7 billion for the fund as of early November. 

Wisconsin's commitment to the New York-based private equity giant's most recent real estate fund is part of a growing line of commitments from state pension funds. In July, the New Jersey Division of Investment resolved to commit $300 million to BREP VII. In June, the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) approved a commitment of up to $300 million to the Blackstone vehicle.