South Korea's National Pension Service hired Seattle-based Russell Investments to put $1 billion to work in global listed real estate securities, a spokeswoman for the 785 trillion won ($710 billion), Jeonju-based pension giant confirmed Wednesday.
"The new mandate is designed to take advantage of tactical opportunities," with the majority of that $1 billion to be allocated following periods of market downturns, according to a Russell news release Tuesday.
Scott Kim, the head of NPS' real estate investment division, in the news release said the commitment — the second the national pension system has awarded to Russell for investment in global real estate securities — "will allow us to efficiently capture the potential price discrepancies between public and private real estate markets going forward," boosting the fund's risk-adjusted returns. Details of the first allocation could not be learned.
The news release said NPS is looking for Russell — on the strength of its 30 years of experience in researching real estate managers and its implementation capabilities — to "pursue an agile approach to market opportunities" in an environment that should favor active investing.
Mr. Kim could not immediately be reached for further comment.
Russell predicted favorable conditions for global listed real estate in 2021, helped by a market environment marked by "extended low interest rates, relatively high U.S. equity valuation and ample liquidity."