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Diversity equals alpha, says Texas ERS, Oregon. Period.

Diversity isn’t just a social “do good” issue — it does add alpha and value to a real estate manager, according to Anthony Breault, of Oregon State Treasury, and Robert Sessa, of the Employees Retirement System of Texas.

Diversity enables greater diversity of thought, they tell Marjorie Tsang in the second part of NAREIM’s Investor Perspectives on diversity and inclusion series, which is an essential part of their GP underwriting.

Speaking to Tsang, the former interim CIO and head of real estate at the New York State Common Retirement Fund, Breault, Sessa and Sam Spencer, investment officer at Oregon State Treasury, highlight how each public pension approaches, tracks and asks questions about diversity within real estate managers, what’s driving their push for greater diversity among GPs and how the industry needs an industry standard for best practices.

The interview is part of NAREIM’s Diversity and Inclusion survey, launched this week in partnership with Ferguson Partners. 

The survey invites all real estate investment managers to participate in a dedicated Diversity & Inclusion benchmark – the first corporate survey of diversity and inclusion in commercial real estate – tracking gender and ethnicity across seniority and job functions.

If you didn’t receive an email from Ferguson, contact Zoe Hughes at to take part. The survey deadline is October 16. Enjoy the conversation.

To read more interviews with investors, check out NAREIM's Inclusion and Diversity page on the website.

  • Make sure you read the past interview with Alisa Mall of The Carnegie Corporation.

  • Also watch out for our upcoming interviews with The World Bank’s Christina Scarlato and CalSTRS’ Mike DiRe, as well as StepStone Group's global head of responsible investing, Suzanne Tavill conducted by Tsang and The CenterCap Group's Suzanne West.

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