The Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund has acquired a 20% stake in British specialist asset manager Gresham House.

Under the arrangement, Berkshire has subscribed for up to 2.5 million new ordinary shares in the business at 325 pence per share.

At the same time, Gresham House also unveiled plans to introduce a new platform to address the demand for alternatives and illiquid assets and support structured co-investment.

The British Strategic Investment fund (BSIF) will be the first fund on the new platform, which will be designed for longer term institutional investors such as private sector pension funds, endowments, local government pension scheme funds and family offices.

Berkshire will offer cornerstone investment for the asset manager’s new fund, which will focus on investment in the three themes of innovation, housing and infrastructure.

The fund will allow investors to address areas of specific interest such as local investment opportunities, or social and infrastructure investment initiatives, as well as allow investors to be involved in the investment process.

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Berkshire Pension Fund and pension fund advisory panels chairman John Lenton said: "We are delighted to be working with Gresham House in developing investments in alternative and illiquid assets. This platform will enable us to reduce costs and obtain diversity in our investments. We will be targeting niche areas and make investments which are smaller and usually longer term than those that interest the major investment houses.”

The new vehicle will be managed by Gresham subsidiary Gresham House Asset Management and will have a target size of £300m.

Gresham House CEO Tony Dalwood said: “Today’s announcement represents a further significant step in delivering the growth strategy that we set out when repositioning the group two years ago.

“We welcome our new strategic shareholder in Gresham House and the long term capital investment platform we are now proposing is expected to grow our third party assets under management significantly, accelerating our path to profitability.”