BlackRock (BLK) formed a new team to handle investments in global real estate securities.

The investment firm hired Mark Howard-Johnson to develop the business and will bring in six more employees by the end of the year. BlackRock is already the largest manager of products across the real estate investment trust sector.

Howard-Johnson was previously the global head and chief investment officer for Goldman Sachs (GS) REIT management.

The expansion will center around equity securities in public real estate companies. BlackRock will be offering investments based internationally and in specific regions such as the Pacific Rim, Europe and Asia.

The BlackRock team will also consider creating tailor-made strategies for large institutional clients who might need exposure to certain product types or geographies to round out their real estate investment strategies.

"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," Howard-Johnson said in a statement.

jprior@housingwire.com

@JonAPrior