The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) approved a $100 million investment in The Blackstone Group’s Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies (BREDS) III, at a board meeting Thursday (19 November), reported PDI sister title PERE. The third BREDS fund began raising capital in September and is targeting $4 billion. Michael Nash (pictured), senior managing director at Blackstone, heads up the BREDS business and presented the strategy at the IMRF meeting.
IMRF previously committed $100 million to the previous BREDS II fund, according to PDI Research & Analytics. Through this vehicle, Blackstone invests in high-yield secured loans in the US and Europe, targeting 12 to 13 percent returns through making mezzanine loans, whole loans and selling down the senior and financing transitional assets.
The $34.8 billion pension also made commitments to two other real estate funds at the meeting. One was a €100 million investment in Ares Management’s European value-add fund – Ares European Property Enhancement Partners II. Ares has a $600 million target for the fund and held a first close in the third quarter. IMRF previously committed €50 million to another of the Ares European funds, Ares European Real Estate Fund IV, an opportunistic fund back in 2013.
The pension system also made a new commitment to Chevy Chase, Maryland-based real estate investment manager Artemis Real Estate Partners. IMRF has committed up to $75 million to the firm, founded by Deborah Harmon and Penny Pritzker, for a minority, female or person with a disability-owned business manager-of-managers account.