Purpose - The objective of the study is to examine the structure, growth, risk adjusted returns and future of the global real estate securities funds sector. Historically these funds have been straightforward actively managed funds benchmarked against an Index such as the EPRA Global Index. Recently there has been increasing specialisation, on, inter alia, emerging markets, income, and passive exchange traded funds. This study looks at the performance of these different fund types across the cycle, and examines how they can be incorporated into a modern asset allocation strategy. Design/methodology/approach - We have used the proprietary database of funds provided by Consilia Capital for this study. Initially we have split the funds into their different mandate sub sectors (global/global REIT) then by structure (open ended / close end) followed by style (active/multi manager/ETF) and finally specialisation (income fund/emerging market, fundamental/standard index/no benchmark benchmark) and size.We have then examined how these different Funds have performed across the cycle, both in absolute terms as well as tracking error against a benchmark. In addition we look at which strategies have been most successful in growing Assets under Management. Findings - The number of styles within this category increased in 2006/7 with the growth of the listed sector and launch of a number of absolute return funds and hedge funds. These imploded in 2008/9 and we are now seeing the next wave of refinements to the structure, which are focussed on low cost passive funds (ETFs), income funds emerging market funds and non-benchmarked funds. With liquidity an increasingly important element of asset allocation decision making we believe that these funds will attract greater levels of capital, and suggest further refinements to the existing models, based on existing categories of general equity mutual funds. Originality/value - It is believed that this is the first study of this nature which looks at the universe of global real estate securities funds.