Advisors Meketa and PCA to merge

The move gives Meketa a foothold in the real estate space and signals PCA’s entry into investment management.

Investment advisor Meketa Investment Group, which counts the California Public Employees’ Retirement System among its clients, is to merge with a smaller rival.

It will join forces with Pension Consulting Alliance in the first half of 2019, creating an entity that consults on more than $100 billion in private market and real estate assets, according to a statement. The company will keep the name Meketa Investment Group.

The merger “significantly enhances [our] private markets resources, particularly in real estate, an area of the marketplace ripe for growth”, said co-chief executive of Meketa Stephen McCourt.

McCourt and co-chief Peter Woolley will lead the organisation. Founder and managing director of PCA Allan Emkin will serve on the board of directors and continue to consult for certain clients.

All staff will remain with the new entity; Meketa has 160 employees and PCA 30.

Meketa serves institutional investors, non-profits and corporations. It has an outsourced CIO business, meaning it can advise clients and invest on their behalf. It has more than 170 clients with assets totalling $1.1 trillion.

PCA serves US tax-exempt institutions and public pension funds on a non-discretionary basis. It does not manage money for clients, arguing that it creates a potential conflict of interest. This will change post-merger, PEI understands.

In March 2017 PCA resigned as CalPERS’ private equity investment consultant, PEI reported. No reason was given for the resignation. Meketa, which at the time was the pension’s real assets advisor, took up the job.

Meketa originally missed out on the private equity mandate when CalPERS ran its search in 2014. Both PCA and Meketa were finalists in the process, but PCA was eventually selected as the consultant on a five-year contract.