Investors - MAY 19, 2014

San Diego commits $50m to opportunistic Asian real estate

by Reg Clodfelter

The $6.5 billion San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System is looking to invest in high-yielding Asian real estate, committing  $50 million to LaSalle Investment Management’s Asia Opportunity Fund IV.

“Asia is one of the fastest growing regions and offers attractive real estate fundamentals,” says Liza Crisafi, chief investment officer with SDCERS. “Furthermore, LaSalle has a 30-year track record of providing real estate investment management services and has established a strong Pan-Asian platform in the last 15 years.”

The opportunistic fund launched in January 2012 with a $500 million fundraising goal and is targeting a final close on June 30. The fund will make debt and equity investments in a wide variety of property types across the Asia Pacific region including investments in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. It is targeting a net return to investors of 18 percent.

According to Crisafi, SDCERS was looking for opportunistic real estate investments, and this fit within the portfolio. The retirement system also liked the added diversification to its opportunistic real estate allocation that this investment provided.

SDCERS currently has 9.5 percent of its assets under management allocated to real estate and a target allocation of 11 percent, leaving room for approximately $97.5 million of further investment.

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