A mutual insurer is hoping to profit from the economic turmoil.

Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, says it has agreed to invest up to $100 million of equity in the KW Property Fund III, a fund managed by Kennedy Wilson Inc., Beverly Hills, Calif.

The $1.25 billion fund focuses on financially distressed and under-managed real estate assets, Guardian says.

Guardian also has invested $24 million in efforts by a Kennedy Wilson fund to buy an apartment community in San Jose, Calif., and it paid $30 million for Kennedy Wilson convertible subordinated debt.

When fully converted, the subordinated debt investment will give Guardian a 10% stake in Kennedy Wilson, Guardian says.