Former PCG heavyweights found rival firm(2)

Monte Brem, the former president of gatekeeper Pacific Corporate Group, has founded a competing firm in California with two other ex-PCG executives.

A new private equity advisory firm, Leucadia Capital Partners, has been founded by three ex- Pacific Corporate Group executives including its former president, Monte Brem.

Brem is Leucadia’s chief executive officer, while co-founder Thomas Keck is the firm’s chief investment officer and co-founder Jose Fernandez is a managing director. At PCG, Keck was a managing director, head of research and chair of its investment committee, while Fernandez was a managing director and member of PCG’s management and investment committees.

Their new firm is located in La Jolla, California – less than five miles from PCG – and has already snagged major clients including the Kuwait Investment Authority and the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

Leucadia is 80 percent owned by its employees and has been “founded on the principle that offering broad employee ownership and operational participation” is key to attracting and retaining talented employees, it said in a statement. The firm expects to have a team of 10 investment professionals by June.

Continuous turnover among senior PCG staff – and the subsequent loss of several major clients – has been linked to PCG’s unwillingness to share ownership and control with employees. In February, the gatekeeper spun out its asset management division, PCG AM, and said employees would eventually own up to a 50 percent stake in the independent firm.