Ben Levenstein was named head of private markets at Universities Superannuation Scheme, London, leading the £75.5 billion ($92.4 billion) pension fund's private markets group, effective March 31.
Levenstein will succeed Mike Powell, who is stepping down on that date after 17 years at USS' in-house management unit, USS Investment Management, and retiring from full-time roles. Powell, who established the private markets investment program when he joined in 2006, has led the private markets group for more than a decade. He will become senior adviser to the group, a new role, and will represent USSIM as a non-executive director on a number of the pension fund's portfolio companies.
USS' private markets exposure was about £28 billion across its defined benefit and defined contribution plans as of the end of March, a spokesperson said. About 60% of the pension fund's private markets are directly owned assets, and the private markets group has grown to a team of 70.
"I am delighted that Ben will succeed Mike," said Simon Pilcher, CEO of USSIM, in a news release. "Ben has played a significant role across PMG for over a decade, particularly in the private credit business, and I have every confidence that PMG will continue to thrive under his leadership."
Regarding Powell, Pilcher said: "He has built an outstanding team and has played a vital role in transforming the long-term performance and resilience of USS through our private market investments, for the benefit of our members."
Levenstein and Powell will work closely over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition, the news release added.
Levenstein is currently deputy head of private markets and head of private debt and alternative income. He joined USS in 2002 and has worked with Powell since 2009, with a focus on expanding the private credit business. Eamon Ray, deputy head of private credit and alternative income, will assume Levenstein's current role, the spokesperson said.