REVOLVING GATEKEEPER

With more than $32 billion in allocations under supervision, Pacific Corporate Group (PCG) is among the largest private equity investment advisors in the world. The La Jolla, California-based firm has also served as an employer for quite a few private equity professionals who are now at other firms.

The latest PCG professional to step down from a senior position is Scott Tuck, who was named president of the firm in July 2003. The PCG website now lists Tuck, a former chairman and CEO of San Francisco-based Montgomery Asset Management, as a “senior advisor” for marketing.

A call to PCG seeking clarity on Tuck's new position was not returned.

Tuck's appointment came a year after PCG announced William Shiebler as its new chairman. Shiebler, a former president at Putnam Mutual Funds, had been brought on board to help PCG professionalise and broaden its investor base, according to press reports at the time.

But a year later, Shiebler stepped down as chairman, according to a source close to the firm. A 2003 press release from PCG lists its founder, Christopher Bower, as chairman. Shiebler is now CEO of Deutsche Asset Management in the US.

Bower founded PCG in 1979 after a career with accounting firm Arthur Young & Co. Bower's firm won many important clients, including CalPERS, as investor interest in the private equity asset class surged.

But the firm has also seen its share of turnover since its founding. In the past 10 years, in addition to Shiebler and Tuck, no fewer than 11 managing directors, as well as a number of junior professionals, have left the firm.

PCG alumni now populate a broad range of firms in the US and Europe. Former managing directors Brian Kinsman and AJ Matsura left to form San Diego middle-market buyout firm Kinsman Capital; former managing directors Adrienne Gaines and Scott Stedman joined Los Angeles buyout firm Yucaipa Companies; Ivan Vercoutère and Duran Curis joined Swiss asset manager LGT Capital Partners; and managing director Kelly Deponte and Jeff Stone, a former PCG associate, joined San Francisco placement and advisory firm Probitas Partners.

For most private equity firms, turnover is a fact of life, although consultants, including PCG, tend to frown on it. But PCG also has a history of resilience. In 1998, Barry Gonder, then the head of private equity for CalPERS, ordered that the pension's contract with the advisory firm be reevaluated in light of the departures of Kinsman and Matsura. In the end, Gonder concluded that the firm was capable of continuing its services to the pension plan with a different set of professionals. PCG remains an advisor to CalPERS.

THOMAS WEISEL PE HEAD JOINS FTVENTURES
Derek Lemke-von Ammon, formerly director of private equity at Thomas Weisel Partners and one of its founding partners, has joined San Francisco-based FTVentures as partner. Lemke-von Ammon will take part in FTVentures's business development efforts, working closely with the firm's LPs and oversee FTVResources, the firm's ([A-z]+)-based platform for its investors and portfolio companies. He has been an investor and advisor in private equity for more than 19 years. Prior to participating in the startup of Thomas Weisel Partners in 1998, Lemke-von Ammon was with Montgomery Securities in San Francisco for 10 years as senior managing director and director of private equity. Thomas Weisel Capital Partners underwent a management change in the last year and is now Tailwind Capital Partners.

COLORADO FOUNDATION HIRES NEW HEAD
Christopher Bittman has been named chief investment officer of the University of Colorado Foundation, which manages $600 million in assets. Bittman is the former president and CEO of Oakland, California-based Jurika & Voyles, an investment management firm with $5 billion in assets. He has also served on the university foundation's investment committee since 1997, most recently as chairman.

As head of the fund's endowment, which is aiming to grow to $1 billion, Bittman will oversee the day-to- day operations and investment decisions. The fund's investment committee will continue to oversee its policy decision and asset allocations. One-third of the fund's investment is allocated to alternative investment, including private equity, hedge funds and real estate. The University of Colorado has invested $46.93 million in private equity funds, and another $6.24 million of its portfolio sits in venture capital funds. Last year the fund posted a 9.5 percent return.

GB PALLADIN NABS SAUNDERS KARP PRO
Jaime Dworkin has been named a managing director and will co-lead the private equity arm of ([A-z]+)-based finance and asset management firm GB Palladin, a joint venture between Gordon Brothers Group, a merchandising specialist, and Palladin Capital Group, an investment firm focused on consumer products. Prior to joining GB Palladin, Dworkin was a partner at Stamford, Connecticut-based private equity firm Saunders Karp & Megrue, where he negotiated and monitored investments across a number of sectors including consumer products, industrial services and manufacturing. From 1992 to 1998, he was a managing director at New York-based BT Capital Partners, the private equity investment division within commercial bank Bankers Trust. Before that, Dworkin was a member of the investment banking division within Bankers Trust.

CAROL PROFFER JOINS CAPSTONE
Dallas placement agent Capstone Partners has hired Carol Proffer as a partner to focus on capital raising in the US as well as on client selection, according to a press release. Prior to joining the firm, Proffer was senior vice president of Pilgrim Baxter & Associates, an investment advisor. Before that she was managing director at Crossroads Investment Advisers, a Dallas fund of funds firm. (Another Capstone partner Steven Standbridge, previously worked at Crossroads as director of investor relations). Prior to Crossroads, Proffer was managing director at William M. Mercer, the consulting firm. Previous Capstone clients have included Paul Capital Partners and Baring Private Equity. Capstone was founded by managing partners Richard Bowman and Frank “Tripp” Brower, two former executive vice presidents of OffRoad Private Capital Group, which raised capital for technology startups. Both Bowman and Brower were recruited to OffRoad in 2000 from investment bank investment bank Stephens, Inc.

FREMONT PRO JOINS CLEARLIGHT PARTNERS
Newport Beach, California-based ClearLight Partners has hired Larry Ward as a new partner. Ward will be based in ClearLight's Newport Beach office. Ward joins ClearLight from San Francisco-based Fremont Partners. Ward joined Fremont in 1999 after leaving buyout firm American Industrial Partners, where he had worked for nine years. Prior to that Ward was CFO of Plantronics and spent 10 years at investment bank Kidder Peabody. ClearLight was founded in 2000 by Michael Kaye, the president and CEO of Secom division Westec Security Group. Secom, a security services company, remains ClearLight's sole limited partner.

SOFINNOVA VENTURES ADDS LIFE SCIENCE PARTNER
The San Francisco-based early-stage life science and information technology venture investor hired Nicola Campbell to focus on early-stage investment opportunities in the sectors of drug discovery and pharmaceutical and biologic development. Most recently, Campbell was a principal with BA Venture Partners, where she focused on mid-stage investment opportunities in drug discovery and product-based companies. She joined BAVP from Burrill & Co, a life science merchant banking firm focusing on biotechnology venture capital. Prior to joining the venture community, Campbell spent four years at Genentech in both business development and scientific roles. In March Sofinnova closed its sixth fund on $250 million (€200 million), giving the firm a total of $600 million under management.

MORGENTHALER HIRES GE EXECS
The Cleveland firm has hired Al Stanley and Daniel Farrar, both former General Electric executives, as partners in Morgenthaler's buyout division. Stanley most recently served as president and chief executive officer of GE's Global Life and Health Reinsurance division, and served president and CEO of GE's Mexico operations prior to that. He worked for GE for eight years. Farrar most recently served as president and CEO of GE Fleet Services for all of Europe. He was with GE for 16 years. In other news, Morgenthaler announced the promotion of Simon Feiglin to principal from senior associate. Founded in 1968, Morgenthaler Partners has a middle-market buyout business based in Cleveland, Ohio, and a venture capital group in Menlo Park, California. The firm manages a total of $2 billion in capital. In July 2001, the firm closed an $850 million fund aimed at both buyout and venture capital investments.