ING Real Estate, one of the world's biggest property investors, said today it had appointed Robert Houston as chairman and CEO of its global investment management business.

Houston, the head of ING Real Estate's UK operation, replaces David Blight, who resigned earlier this year to return to Australia for family reasons.

‘This is a great opportunity,’ said Houston. ‘Having had the privilege of managing and growing the UK business over the past 28 years, I now have the chance to build ING Real Estate's global investment management platform at a time when investors are increasingly seeking global opportunities.’

Stephen Pyne, currently the UK's chief investment officer, will assume a new role alongside Houston as global portfolio manager responsible for global cross-border investment in the group.

Kevin Aitchison, currently head of the UK's segregated account and joint venture business, will succeed Houston as CEO in the UK.