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Irish reserve fund plans E400m real estate move

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IRELAND - The 10 billion-euro National Pensions Reserve Fund has appointed F&C’s Ian Gleeson as property manager to oversee a planned 400 million-euro real estate allocation.

Gleeson is to take up his post by the end of September and will be in charge of the property portfolio, four percent of the fund’s total resources.

A spokesman for the fund told IPE that the NPRF has currently an 80% allocation to equities and 20% to bonds.

A larger than four percent exposure to property for the time being was not on the agenda, but the spokesman said that in the future the fund’s attitude to the asset class may change.

The new allocation does not imply a diversion of money from either bonds or equities for the time being, as the fund gets one percent of Ireland’s GNP annually to meet part of the cost of future pensions.

The NPRF is controlled and managed by the National Pensions Reserve Fund Commission and is potentially free to invest in all asset classes with the exception of Irish Government securities.

“Due to its long-term holding period, the Commission has decided that the Fund should have a heavy concentration in a well-diversified portfolio of international equities,” the fund’s web site says. The resources managed for the NTMA will be withdrawn from 2025.

Earlier this month the fund’s head of risk and asset allocation, Ronan O'Connor, was quoted as saying in a magazine article that the scheme was considering moving into hedge funds. And last month it emerged that it had shown the “yellow card” to two of its of 18 asset managers.

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