Ohio’s school retirement fund plans to invest more in data centers and life sciences offices in 2022.

In its most recent annual investment plan, the School Employees Retirement System of Ohio (Ohio SERS) said it plans to hire specialty managers to target real estate investments such as data centers as they offer higher rent growth prospects.

The report said the fund will aim to target “demographic-driven real estate investments such as data centers, life science, and medical office versus GDP-driven sectors such as offices.

“These sectors are anticipated to have higher rent growth and more durable income. This would maintain the overweight to the specialty property types within Real Assets,” reads the report.

The fund said 10.1 percent of its real estate assets portfolio was allocated to ‘specialty property types’ such as data centers at the end of 2020, and made a new commitment of $100 million during 2020 to the area. The report said it would continue to evaluate specialty property types in 2022.

Established in 1937, Ohio SERS is a statewide public pension fund serving non-teaching public school employees such as bus drivers, secretaries, cafeteria workers, teacher’s aides, and administrative and support staff.

The fund has more than $14 billion in assets; at the end of fiscal 2021, real assets accounted for 16 percent of the pension fund’s portfolio.

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