- March 1, 2013: Vol. 25, Number 3

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Real estate redefined: Investment firms rise to the challenge of getting more real estate options into defined contribution plans

by Steve Bergsman


TIAA-CREF has been investing directly in real estate for more than 60 years and now boasts a portfolio of direct equity investments in real estate of about $19 billion. Clearly, this is an organization that knows something about property markets.

That is why the insurer and leading retirement provider for folks in the academic, research and cultural fields decided that when building an asset allocation option for individual retirement plan clients, direct investment in real estate made a lot sense.

“We crafted a product that could be distributed through the defined contribution space where we are a huge record-keeper,” says Adam Polacek, managing director, client portfolio management at the New York City–based company. “We built a product called

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