About Blackrock

BlackRock is an industry leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At 30 September 2015, BlackRock’s AUM was $US4.506 trillion. Founded in 1988 and based in New York, BlackRock has more than 12,900 employees in more than 30 countries. It aims to assist clients in meeting their goals through a range of products including separate accounts, mutual funds, exchange traded funds and other pooled investment vehicles.  BlackRock also offers risk management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors through BlackRock Solutions®.

Funds managed

Key personnel

Property strategy

Mark Howard-Johnson, CFA, Managing Director and Global Head of Real Estate Securities

Mark’s responsibilities include developing and overseeing the investment team and its process as well as the creation of various public real estate securities products to be made available to both the retail and institutional channels.

Mark’s service with BlackRock dates back to 2012. Prior to this, he was the Chief Investment Officer for the real estate securities team at Building and Land Technology, where he was responsible for launching its real estate securities management effort. He also served as Global Head and Chief Investment Officer for the Real Estate Securities Team at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. In his tenure of more than 10 years here, Mark oversaw the launch of the business and growth to in excess of $5 billion in AUM.

Mark is an active member of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and sits on the Investment Advisory Council. He earned his BA from Dartmouth College.

Alastair Gillespie, CFA, Managing Director, Co-Global Chief Investment Officer of the Real Estate Securities Group

Alastair previously was with Principal Global Investors where he was a Singapore-based Managing Director and Co-Global Portfolio Manager, with responsibilities for the firm’s global, Asia Pacific and domestic Australian real estate capability in listed real estate securities. Prior to this Alastair was a sell-side real estate securities analyst for 11 years, culminating as co-head of Asian real estate research at UBS AG.

From 2006 to present he has been a management board member of the Asia Pacific Real Estate Association (APREA) and subsequently the Singapore chapter of APREA. He is also a member of the FTSE EPRA NAREIT Asia Index committee.

Alastair received a Masters of Applied Finance from Macquarie University in Australia. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Sherry Rexroad, CFA, Managing Director, Co-Global Chief Investment Officer of the Real Estate Securities Group

Sherry joined BlackRock in 2012 as Chief Investment Officer of the Americas and Chair of the Investment Committee for the Global Real Estate Securities Group. She has 25 years of experience in real estate and real estate securities.

Sherry most recently served as the Senior Portfolio Manager, REITs-Americas for Aviva Investors Global Listed Real Estate Securities Team. She was previously a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager with ING Clarion Real Estate Securities with $10 billion in assets under management. Her experience includes global, US, income and long short hedge fund mandates. Prior to ING, she worked for AEW Capital Management, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the General Services Administration.

Sherry graduated from Haverford College and holds an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the CFA Institute, the CFA Society of Philadelphia and NAREIT.

James Wilkinson, Managing Director, Co-Global Chief Investment Officer of the Real Estate Securities Group

James was previously a fund manager at Thames River Capital where he worked on a range of traditional long only and long/short real estate securities funds, including the S&P Capital IQ Gold rated Thames River Real Estate Securities Fund. Prior to this, he worked at Henderson Global Investors as a member of the European real estate securities team. James began his career at Healey & Baker as a Chartered Surveyor.

Since 2014, James has sat on the EPRA Advisory Board and in 2015 he joined the EPRA Board of Directors.

James graduated from the University of East Anglia with a BA Hons degree in Philosophy and gained his MA in Property Valuation and Law from City University Business School, London (now Cass Business School). James is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Index Strategy

Amy L Schioldager, Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Beta Strategies

Amy serves as a member of the Global Executive Committee, Global Operating Committee and the San Francisco Leadership Team. She is also a member of the BlackRock's Women's Initiative (WIN) global steering committee and chairs the WIN US West chapter.

Amy’s service with the firm dates back to 1989, including her years with Barclays Global Investors (BGI), which merged with BlackRock in 2009. Before taking on her current role at BlackRock, Amy held several leadership positions, including Head of Indexing – US, Head of Domestic Equity Portfolio Management, Head of Transition Management, and Head of International Equity Portfolio Management. During this period, she was responsible for the launch of the first ETF portfolios in 1996 (initially called WEBS and now known as iShares). She joined BGI as a fund accountant before transitioning to portfolio management two years later.

Amy earned a BSc degree in business administration from California State University at Hayward in 1989. She serves on the Standard & Poor's Index Advisory Board and serves as vice chair of the Juma Ventures Board of Directors.

Kevin Hardy, Managing Director, Head of Beta Strategies in Asia Pacific, Country Head of Singapore

Kevin is responsible for the portfolio management and strategy teams for the institutional and iShares index equity product range. As Country Head, Kevin is responsible for the management, leadership, and strategic direction of BlackRock's operations in Singapore. He is also a member of the BlackRock Asia-Pacific Executive Committee.

Kevin has had an international career in fund management dating back to 1993 and has worked in Hong Kong, Chicago and London. Before joining BlackRock he spent nine years in various leadership roles at Northern Trust, including four years as the Head of Asset Management in Asia-Pacific and country Head for Hong Kong, two years leading international sales, and three years leading global transition management. Kevin had previously spent a combined 10 years in equity index fund management in London at State Street Global Advisors and Legal & General Investment Management.

Kevin earned a BSc degree, with honours, in business studies from the City University Business School in 1993.

Ben Garland, CFA, Director

Ben is Asia Pacific Head of Index Strategy within BlackRock's Beta Strategies Group. He is responsible for Index Equity product strategy and client relationships for all institutional equity products in the Asia Pacific region.

Ben's service with the firm dates back to 1999, including 10 years with Barclays Global Investors (BGI), which merged with BlackRock in 2009. Ben relocated to Hong Kong from Sydney in early 2010 to join the iShares Asia Research and Investment Advisory (ARIA) team, providing portfolio and product analytics services to clients in the Asia Pacific region. Prior to this, Ben was a Client Advisory Strategist, providing high-level consulting and analytical services to Australian institutional clients.

Ben has a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Nottingham (UK) and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder.

Johnnie Yung, CFA, Director

Johnnie is Head of the Asia ex Japan Index Equity Portfolio Management Group, focused on the index equity platform in the Asia ex-Japan region.

Prior to joining BlackRock in 2010, Johnnie worked as a Portfolio Manager for Dacheng Fund Management Company in China, was a senior Director at RBS Plc, and Vice President for DBS Bank in Hong Kong covering various capital markets initiatives. Previously, he was a portfolio manager for Ontario Teachers' Pension Board in Canada where he was responsible for equity portfolio management including index equity for over nine years. He has also been involved in Fixed Income Analytics development for Manulife and managed fixed income portfolios for Crown Life, both in Canada.

Johnnie earned a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from University of Manitoba in 1983 and a Master of Mathematics degree from University of Waterloo in 1985. He is a fully qualified Actuary and was accredited Fellow of the Society of Actuary (FSA) in 1991. He also became a CFA charter holder in 1993.

Celia Chau, CFA, FRM, Vice President

Celia is a member of the Index Equity Portfolio Management Group, focused on the index equity platform.

Celia’s service with the firm dates back to 2007, including her years with Barclays Global Investors (BGI), which merged with BlackRock in 2009. At BGI, she was responsible for iShares exchange-traded funds in the Asia ex-Japan region. Previous to this, she was an operations manager providing operational support to the iShares funds in the region. Prior to joining BGI, she was a client services manager at HSBC Institutional Trust Services (Asia) Limited.

Celia earned a BBA degree and an MS degree in finance, both from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Why Advance selected BlackRock

BlackRock has a highly diversified business across retail and institutional business and offers capability with a flexible solutions based approach to investment management.

Index strategy

It has demonstrated a proven ability over time in managing index strategies effectively and efficiently, and has capacity to optimise index implementation to generate incremental upside.


BlackRock’s real estate securities investment team is highly experienced and their ability to maximise returns on a risk adjusted basis consistently across most market conditions is viewed favourably.  In addition, the investment team’s ability to leverage off the wider BlackRock Group across private and public equity and debt markets is highly regarded in a world where macro-economic factors is increasingly important when constructing a global REIT portfolio.