Michael Riak was named principal and head of defined contribution at Pantheon Ventures to lead the private equity firm's effort to provide private equity investments to defined contribution plans.
The position is new, and Mr. Riak will join Pantheon in its New York office on June 4.
In an interview, Mr. Riak said he expected that the larger DC plans would be the most amenable to taking on private equity investments, which Pantheon will offer as a component of DC plans' target-date funds.
“You need more sophisticated plan sponsors (for private equity investing), and they tend to be the larger plans,” Mr. Riak said.
Among plans offering target-date funds, the most likely candidates for private equity investments would be those with customized funds or those considering customized funds due to the plans' asset size and investment flexibility, added Kevin Albert, partner and global head of business development and client services at Pantheon, in the same interview.
Mr. Riak has been director of savings and affiliate plans at Verizon Communications Inc. , and chief investment officer of the Verizon Foundation, Basking Ridge, N.J., overseeing a total $27.8 billion. “We intend to replace him with an internal candidate,” Verizon spokesman Robert Varettoni said in an interview.