The Â£20bn Universities Superannuation Scheme, the UKâs second largest pension fund, has awarded a Â£50m mandate to property asset manager First Property Group. The capital will be invested in retail, office and industrial property pegged between Â£3m Â£30m.
The manager said that while USS would initially invest Â£50m, the new fund would be able to borrow triple that amount externally. First Property, or Fprop, currently has just Â£21m in assets under management.
Although the UK and Poland â" where Fprop opened its Warsaw office on June 1 â" are earmarked for investment, the group are also considering investing in Romania and Bulgaria. "But it is early days yet," commented Fprop chief executive Ben Habib. "Securing the support of USS is a very significant step forward for First Property. To have won a mandate from such a well known and respected organisation as USS is a tremendous endorsement of the group and our track record."
In May USS said it was seeking a new chairman of its investment committee to replace Scott Bell.