OPERS committed $400m to Strategic Partners’ CalPERS deal

The Ohio retirement system has emerged as a co-investor in the Blackstone unit's fund which was set up to acquire real estate stakes from the California pension.

The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) has emerged as a co-investor in Strategic Partners‘ purchase last year of $3 billion worth of real estate fund stakes from the US’ largest public pension.

OPERS, which had $8.4 billion in private real estate as of 31 December, wrote a $400 million check to Strategic Partners Real Estate Special Opportunities Fund I during the fourth quarter, according to the pension system’s fourth quarter real estate report, which was presented at its May board meeting.

The opportunistic secondaries fund was set up to purchase closed-end real estate fund stakes from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), which sold the portfolio of interests to the Blackstone unit in November as part of a larger strategy to simplify its holdings across asset classes.

CalPERS‘ disposition represented about 10 percent of the pension giant’s real estate assets and included stakes in 43 domestic and international vehicles, the pension fund said last year.

OPERS‘ commitment will comprise about 19 percent of Strategic Partners‘ $2.1 billion capital raise for the secondaries vehicle, according to the pension system’s documents.

OPERS has invested in eight Blackstone funds stretching back to vehicles from 2006, according to the report. The pension system has $1.8 billion in exposure to Blackstone through these funds, which have returned an average internal rate of return of 24 percent.

About 35 percent of OPERS’ overall real estate portfolio is invested in core strategies.

Last year, the pension system also committed $200 million in April to Strategic Partners Real Estate Fund VI.