Russell Investments wins Korean pension fund mandate

Korean flag and buildingsThe National Pension Service of Korea (NPS) has enlisted Russell Investments to manage a US$1 billion real estate investment mandate. It is the second such arrangement between the two focused on the global real estate securities sector and signals a move from the NPS, the third largest pension fund in the world with more than $600 billion in assets under management, to bolster its alternative investment capability. More specifically the mandate will focus on the listed real estate market, based on the belief that the arrival of a Covid-19 vaccine, along with low interest rates, relatively high US equity valuation and ample liquidity, will trigger a recovery for the asset class which was badly hit during the pandemic. “Successful distribution of Covid-19 vaccines should enable demand for public real estate to recover, particularly for the most impacted property sectors, such as retail, office and lodging,” said Bruce Eidelson, director and senior portfolio manager, equity, at Russell Investments. The move comes less than a month after another Korean public sector pension fund, the Public Officials Benefit Association, announced plans to invest $100 million in real estate investment trusts and to recruit an external partner outside of Korea by January 2021 to manage the investments. © 2021 funds global asia

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