The US-based Townsend Group has won a mandate to build a £240m portfolio for the £2bn Environment Agency Pension Fund that will be led by the London-based business.
Townsend, which is led in London by Adam Calman and Nick Cooper, beat a 13-strong field that had been invited to pitch, which included most of the pension fund consultants.
EAPF wants to invest in four areas: property, infrastructure, forestry and farmland. Initially, £60m of property will be moved from Aviva Investors to Townsend, while the rest of the capital will be invested over the next two years or so.
The target is to increase EAPF’s allocation to ‘real’ assets from 5% to 12%. Howard Pearce, head of environmental finance and pension fund management at the agency, said Townsend was chosen because it had “the most assets already invested in the four asset classes”.
Townsend has been expanding its European business. Last December, Kieran Farrelly joined the London office from CBRE Global Investors.