People - JANUARY 28, 2014

PennSERS retains Townsend as real estate consultant

by Reg Clodfelter

At a Jan. 22 board meeting, the $26.2 billion Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System approved a motion to enter into a new, one-year contract with The Townsend Group to retain the firm as the retirement system’s real estate investment consultant. The new contract terms will be the same as the existing contract terms that are set to expire in June of this year.

This January, the retirement system welcomed a new board chairman for the first time in more than 20 years. Additionally, the system’s CIO position is currently vacant. The new contract was intended to assure continuity through the hiring and acclimating of the new CIO and board chair. Townsend has acted as the real estate consultant for the retirement system since 1994.

PennSERS has a 16.1 percent allocation to real assets worth $4.2 billion, and a 15 percent target to the sector. This includes $1.7 billion to core real estate, worth 6.6 percent of the system’s entire portfolio, and $753 million to noncore real estate, worth 2.9 percent of the entire portfolio.

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