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Pension Plan

Sterlinks subscribers can read more about how cloud technology is changing the game for real estate investors, in my piece for the PREA Quarterly this month.  PREA subscribers will also receive a copy of this piece.

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Last week Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) – the entity that controls Norway’s $890 billion wealth fund – announced that it would be ramping up its investment into global real estate.

The fund has been permitted to invest into real estate since 2011 and at the end of 2013 held 1% of its portfolio in real estate. However, because its target allocation is actually 5%, it will seek to invest 1% of its fund in each of the next three years.  Yes, $27 billion looking for real estate investments during the next three years.

There are a few interesting components to their strategy.  First, NBIM staff dedicated to real estate will increase to about 200 people – a lot more eyes, ears, and hands to source and manage their real estate investments.  Geographically, most of NBIM’s recent investment has focused on the US and Europe and they will now look at other major markets in Asia and “global cities outside Europe.”  This could include a more direct stake in emerging markets.  Finally, NBIM will be doing fewer JVs and looking to manage fully-owned properties, plus an increase in active involvement with development.  Part of this strategy will also be seeking public-to-private transactions.

Not only does this story underscore some of the trends identified in our earlier posts in this space (e.g., Capital Surge), but it is also interesting to think about its impact on the marketplace.  NBIM’s activities could be seen as a significant competitive presence to other buyers and sellers of real estate investments. Plus, the weight of capital in the more attractive markets may affect pricing and risk-adjusted returns.

NBIM, as stated before, plans to increase the number of staff dedicated to real estate to approximately 200 professionals.  Regardless of the number of staff dedicated to an investment strategy, the ability to manage information between team members and coordinate intelligence-gathering is critical.  While investors continue to seek ways to automate paper-based processes and access broader data, they are also looking for ways to quickly and efficiently distribute updates within their own organizations, no matter how small or large.   Accordingly, transparency and communication is the hallmark of the most adept fund managers. Today, cleverly designed technology infrastructure can go a long way in supporting highly effective investors and investment managers.

This is the Sterlinks blog. Access Sterlinks tools to maximize your internal resources by visiting http://www.sterlinks.net.

For Immediate Release

For Immediate Release

CalSTRS Adopts Sterlinks Due Diligence Technology and Joins Sterling Analytics Advisory Board

Sterlinks software platform offers California pension plan investment team broader market data, enhanced transparency with investment managers, and longer-term visibility on potential investment partners

SAN FRANCISCO, June 10, 2014 — The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) this week adopted Sterlinks, a cloud-based utility that automates due diligence and analytics on investment opportunities. Sterlinks is the flagship technology product of Sterling Analytics (http://www.sterlinganalytics.net).

In addition to adopting the Sterlinks platform to expand and improve CalSTRS due diligence capabilities on global real estate investment opportunities, investment officers Josh Kawaii-Bogue and Kevin Bassi will represent CalSTRS on Sterling Analytics’ Advisory Board.

CalSTRS is interested in leveraging technology and data to improve its investment process.

CalSTRS expects to use the Sterlinks platform to augment internal resources and reduce costs related to travel, document retrieval and administrative tasks.

“We believe Sterlinks gives the CalSTRS investment team access to a broader set of data and analytics related to investment opportunities, fund managers and operators.  This will support our investment staff in navigating complex global real estate markets where access to the best local expertise and market data can be an advantage,” said CalSTRS Director of Real Estate, Mike DiRe.

“We hope to use the data and analytics gained from the Sterlinks platform to supplement our research on major investment decisions related to our $22.4 billion real estate investment portfolio,” said Investment Officer Josh Kawaii-Bogue.

“CalSTRS leadership is charged with steering the second-largest pension fund in the U.S. We look forward to supporting them with technology to achieve their investment objectives effectively,” said Meera Balakumar, Director of Sterling Analytics.

The Sterlinks platform will offer the CalSTRS real estate team the following principal tools:

  • Partner Due Diligence hub: to centralize and automate due diligence on global investment managers and operators;
  • Sterlinks Notebook Client Relationship Management (CRM): to track and manage new and existing investment relationships; and
  • Network Builder: for desktop and mobile-enabled networking with global real estate investors, managers and operators.

About Sterling Analytics

Sterling Analytics provides institutional investors with technology tools designed to help them identify investment partners, build intelligent partner relationships, and manage partner due diligence. Sterling Analytics’ flagship next-generation due diligence software, Sterlinks, is tailored to the needs of the institutional investment process. The Sterlinks platform integrates client relationship management (“CRM”), networking, due diligence and analytics to strengthen and build capital partnerships.

About CalSTRS

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, with a portfolio valued at $183.8 billion as of April 30, 2014, is the largest educator-only pension fund in the world. CalSTRS administers a hybrid retirement system, consisting of traditional defined benefit, cash balance and voluntary defined contribution plans. CalSTRS also provides disability and survivor benefits. CalSTRS serves California’s 868,000 public school educators and their families from the state’s 1,600 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts.

Contact:
Sterling Analytics Press Team
+1(415) 868-5391
info@sterlinganalytics.net
www.sterlinks.net
www.twitter.com/sterlinks

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