Man Group’s private markets investment business has appointed Shamez Alibhai to lead a newly created UK-focused community housing strategy.

Man GPM, which was launched with the acquisition of Aalto Invest in 2017, has hired Alibhai as head of community housing and portfolio manager.

The new community housing team will work alongside UK councils and housing associations to deliver a range of affordable homes, Man Group said.

Alibhai joins from London-based alternative investment fund manager Cheyne Capital where he spent 12 years and was a partner and portfolio manager. He also previously worked at Credit Suisse and Barclays.

He will also sit on Man Group’s responsible investment committee.

Members of Man GPM’s newly established community housing advisory committee will include Dame Katharine Barker, a current non-executive director of Taylor Wimpey and Man Group and David Hutchison, and the CEO of Social Finance and a member of the UK National Advisory board on impact investing and the Social Metrics Commission.

The committee members also include David Sheridan, a former CEO of Keepmoat Group, and David Gannicott, who was most recently group business development director at Hyde Group.

Alibhai said: “The scale of the housing shortfall across the UK requires innovative solutions to enable all types of households to help meet their housing aspirations and needs.

“Man Group’s resources and commitment to socially responsible investing provide a strong foundation for pursuing our goal of alleviating this problem.”

Barker said: “The UK is experiencing a housing shortage and there is an opportunity to make use of private, long-term capital to create affordable housing that meets the needs of communities across the UK in a socially sustainable way.

“I and the rest of the Committee look forward to advising Alibhai and the investment team as they progress with what we believe will be a successful example of public-private partnership and demonstrate the benefits of impact investing.”

Luke Ellis, CEO of Man Group, said: “We are committed to helping our clients achieve positive financial and social outcomes with their capital and believe that affordable housing is an ideal strategy for this purpose.

“Alibhai brings considerable expertise and prior experience of investing in affordable housing projects, and we are delighted that he has joined Man GPM.”

Ellis said the private markets business is a key diversifier for Man Group and the company believes affordable housing is an attractive asset class for long-term investors.