Wenning Jung has joined Franklin Templeton Real Estate Advisors in California to lead the teamÆs Asia business on behalf of its four managing directors. She joins from the California Public EmployeeÆs Retirement System (Calpers), the largest public pension fund in the United States, where she had served as an investment officer in its real-estate department.

While at Calpers she had implemented a new investment strategy into Asia and managed a portfolio of seven international commingled and separate account funds.

Hers is a new role at Franklin Templeton, designed to help the firm boost its investments into Asia-based real-estate managers. The firm manages $2.5 billion of real-estate investments as funds of funds. She could not say whether the firm is preparing to introduce new products or if it is enhancing the existing offering.

JungÆs role will be to identify third-party real-estate managers in Asia, conduct due diligence, run her team and keep an ear to the ground for new opportunities. New allocations to Asia-Pacific deals have increased from 20-25% of the portfolio to over 30% today.

She does note that certain Asian investments can provide different risk/return profiles than most real-estate portfolios. Unlike the United States, the markets of India, China and Southeast Asia are immature and can generate greater returns, but at greater risk. The firm wants to increase its business in global real estate as it provides diversification and steady income for clients.

Franklin Templeton Real Estate Advisors manages strategies in private and public real-estate markets, for institutional and retail clients. It is an arm of Franklin Templeton Institutional.

The firm has also just promoted four of its senior executives to managing directorships. Jack Foster, Raymond Jacobs, Glenn Uren and Marc Weidner now comprise its management committee, and Jung reports to all of them.