Former PCG pros launch advisory firm

A trio of former Pacific Corporate Group professionals has launched an advisory shop that will focus on channeling capital from institutional investors to general partners outside of the United States and Western Europe.

Based in La Jolla, Calif., Leucadia Capital Partners officially launched in May. It is led by CEO Monte Brem, Chief Investment Officer Thomas Keck and Managing Director Jose Fernandez. The three left advisory house PCG over a five month period, beginning last September.

The new firm will have discretionary and non-discretionary mandates, depending on the size of the clients, but has no plans to raise a funds-of-funds. Leucadia aims to advise investors with a minimum of $25 million. So far, the firm’s clients include Kuwait Investment Authority and the George Kaiser Family Foundation, which also provided an undisclosed amount of seed capital to launch the firm. Neither one of the firms was a client of PCG.

The George Kaiser account came to Brem through a law school friend of his who works at the foundation. The $5 billion foundation, bankrolled with money its founder made in the oil industry and through ownership of the Bank of Oklahoma, has most of its portfolio invested in alternative investments, such as in distressed debt funds and in Asia-focused funds.

In looking for additional clients, Leucadia will focus on candidates outside the United States, particularly in the Middle East, where there is a lot of liquidity, Brem said.

The three co-founders are close friends whose kids go the same schools, says Brem.

The firm’s name comes from a progressive community north of San Diego, known for its “creativity and community values,” Brem notes.

PCG has seen a number of executives depart over the last few years, some of which have gone on to start other firms. They include Scott Vollmer and Craig White, who launched distressed fund-of-funds Drum Capital Management. Also, Peter Martenson launched Macquarie’s private equity business in the United States with the help of former PCG staffers Eric Becker and Rick Fratus. —Mark Cecil