BlackRock (BLK) appointed Sherry Rexroad as chief investment officer for the firm’s newly launched global real estate securities platform.

Rexroad will be responsible for building and ultimately leading an investment team for BlackRock’s real estate securities group. She will report to Mark Howard-Johnson, global head of the firm’s real estate securities group.

The investment firm 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.

The new global real state securities platform will offer investments based internationally and in specific regions such as the Pacific Rim, Europe and Asia.

Prior to joining BlackRock, Rexroad managed global, U.S. and long short hedge fund mandates. Most recently, she served as the senior portfolio manager of REITs-Americas for Aviva Investors global listed real estate securities team. Before that, she was a managing director and portfolio manager with ING Clarion real estate securities with $10 billion in assets under management.

— Justin T. Hilley