New pension fund and foundation and endowment mandates to commercial real estate managers totaled about $5.9 billion in the fourth quarter of2013, according to data from iiSEARCHES. By comparison, this group hired commercial real estate managers to handle about $3.7 billion in the third quarter.

With seven mandates, distressed debt was the most popular place for investor dollars in the third quarter. Major commitments include three $150 mandates for Lone Star Real Estate Fund III, a $6.6 billion global debt fund. The Virginia Retirement System and the South Dakota Retirement System were among the pension funds that made commitments to the Lone Star fund.

The Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System was the largest investor, with $1.8 billion of commitments, and followed by the Kentucky Retirement Systems, which invested $250 million. Lone Star Funds, Heitman and Blackstone Group were among the most active managers.

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