PCG spin-out bolsters staff

Mark Nydam has been hired as a cleantech and technology specialist for PCG Asset Management, the reorganised division of turnover-plagued gatekeeper Pacific Corporate Group.

La Jolla, California-based PCG Asset Management has hired Mark Nydam to join its firm of 30-some investment professionals.

PCG AM spun out from Pacific Corporate Group in February as an independent firm, in which a handful of its employees will eventually own up to a 50 percent stake; currently, nine members of senior management own a 25 percent stake, according to chief executive David Fann. The spin-out followed a series of departures by senior management last year – which sources say was due in part to PCG founder Christopher Bower’s unwillingness to extend ownership and control to employees.

Staring next month, Nydam will be a managing partner and serve on PCG AM’s investment committee. His focus will be primarily on clean energy and technology, the firm said.

Nydam has 10 years of related industry experience. He most recently was a principal at management consulting firm Booz Allen & Hamilton, where he oversaw the creation and management of a cleantech-focused private equity organization for Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, as well as advised Middle Eastern private equity firms on cleantech investments.

“Mark Nydam joins PCG AM at an exciting time in history as we recently announced a $400 million commitment from CalPERS to PCG AM’s clean energy and technology investment initiative,” said Bower, PCG founder and PCG AM director, in a statement.

The California Public Employees Retirement System, one of the PCG’s most valuable clients, praised the creation of PCG AM in February; it, and other clients, had expressed a desire to see PCG create an employee-owned organization, Bower has said.

Continuous turnover among senior investment professionals has caused PCG to lose some of its heavyweight clients, like The Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois, which dropped the 28-year old gatekeeper in December. The Oregon Investment Council will decide in April whether to fire PCG, with whom it has had a 15-year relationship, and instead hire Philadelphia-based consultant Hamilton Lane.

Last week PCG AM appointed Fann as its president and chief executive. Fann has been a managing director with the firm since October 2006.

PCG AM also recently appointed as its board chairman Gerard Drummond, who has served as chairman of the Oregon Investment Council for 15 of the last 17 years.