Allied World Assurance Co. agreed to take a stake in private-equity firm Blue Vista Capital Management LLC in a push into real estate investing.

The insurer will also invest $225 million of its portfolio with Blue Vista, Allied World said in a statement today that didn’t disclose the size of the stake.

Allied World has turned to outside firms to help oversee a portfolio of more than $8 billion. The Zug, Switzerland-based insurer last year joined Crescent Capital Group LP, the investment manager co-founded by Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, in a bet on junk-rated debt. In 2012, Allied World agreed to take a stake in Matlin Patterson and invest $500 million with the firm. Such deals allow the insurer to benefit from management fees charged to other investors.

“This is Allied World’s first foray into investing in the real estate sector,” John Gauthier, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive who is president of Allied World Financial Services, said in the statement. “We selected Blue Vista as a partner based on their prudent investment strategy.”

Blue Vista was founded in 2002 and has raised more than $1.1 billion of institutional equity, according to the statement. The Chicago-based firm invests through limited partnerships and has bet on assets including student housing. Its clients include pension plans, insurers and wealthy individuals.
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