South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission committed a total of up to $375 million to real estate managers on behalf of the $29.5 billion South Carolina Retirement Systems.
At their meeting on Thursday, commissioners approved the commitment of up to $300 million to Blackstone Property Partners, an open-end core-plus real estate fund managed by Blackstone Group.
The fund is focused on investments in office, retail, industrial and multifamily properties primarily in the U.S., said Eric Rovelli, senior real estate officer, in a meeting webcast.
The fund has made investments and commitments to other Blackstone real estate and private equity funds.
The fund is less than a year old, which earned Blackstone Property Partners a “qualified” rather than a “buy” rating, said the pension fund's lead consultant, Suzanne Bernard, partner at Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting.
“Our reservation is that it's a new fund, but we have a great deal of confidence in the organization,” Ms. Bernard said. “The fund is a good fit for South Carolina,” she added.
Mr. Rovelli said the initial commitment will be between $100 million and $150 million, with the balance to be invested later at the CIO's discretion.
RSIC also committed $75 million to Brookfield Strategic Real Estate Partners II, a global opportunistic fund that seeks commercial investment properties, Mr. Rovelli said. RSIC previously invested $75 million in the first fund in the series, which is managed by Brookfield Asset Management.
Mr. Rovelli said during the webcast that the two new commitments will bring the fund close to its 5% real estate target allocation and will complete the building-out phase of the asset class.
A performance report from Aon Hewitt showed that as of Feb. 28, RSIC's real estate portfolio totaled $1.2 billion, or 4% of the total portfolio.
The RSIC commission oversees investment of the state pension fund, which is administered by the South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority. Both state entities are based in Columbia.