BlackRock has launched its global real estate securities capability, which is an investment platform born from BlackRock's experience in the real estate investment business.

Mark Howard-Johnson has been hired as the global head of real estate securities management to lead the development of the business.  One of his first priorities will be to build a global team, which is expected to include about six additional investment professionals by yearend.

Howard-Johnson was most recently the  CIO at Building & Land Technology where he was responsible for launching its real estate securities management effort. Previously, he was global head and CIO of REIT management at Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

According to a release from the firm, the new global real estate securities team will work closely with BlackRock's real estate research and investment experts to identify and pursue real estate invesments.

"BlackRock is already the largest manager in the REIT sector across a broad range of products -- expanding this expertise for dedicated actively managed products is a natural extension of the firm's robust real estate capabilities," said Jack Chandler, global head of real estate at BlackRock. "This will further strengthen our ability to offer our institutional and retail clients an unrivaled set of real estate solutions. We are thrilled to have such an exceptional and experienced talent as Mark to drive the build-out of this addition to our platform."

"I am delighted to join the BlackRock real estate team to develop its actively managed public real estate securities platform," Howard-Johnson said. "BlackRock real estate investments span a wide range of strategies which now, with the addition of the active strategy, will be even more integrated and complementary of each other. I'm proud to be part of this superior team and look forward to strengthening the firm's product offering for the benefit of our clients."

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