Pantheon adds Michael Riak to help roll out private equity for defined contribution


Global private equity investor Pantheon has appointed Michael Riak as principal and head of US defined contribution, in a newly created role to lead the firm’s drive to grow its client base of defined contribution pension plans.

Riak said, “Adding high quality private equity investments to defined contribution plans will help address participants’ need for higher returns, bringing to bear the benefits of an asset class long enjoyed by defined benefit plans and other institutional investors.”

Kevin Albert, global head of business development and client services, said, “We are delighted to welcome Michael Riak to Pantheon. His record of innovation and experience in adding alternatives to defined contribution plans gives him deep insights into how to integrate alternative investments into individual retirement accounts, and in particular, how to address the needs of sponsors, participants and consultants alike. We know he will be instrumental in delivering the right solution to the defined contribution community.”

Riak will start in this new position in June and be based in Pantheon’s New York office. He joins Pantheon after a seventeen year career at Verizon Communications. As director of savings & affiliate plans, he was instrumental in making the telecommunications company the first non-financial plan sponsor to offer private real estate and absolute-return investment options to defined contribution plan participants.

In addition to his defined contribution responsibilities, he was CIO of the Verizon Foundation and oversaw the investment structures for the captive insurance programme and its voluntary employees beneficiary association plans.

Pantheon has $24bn in assets under management, with offices in London, San Francisco, New York and Hong Kong.

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