Dysfunction Junction

I’ve run out of analogies to describe Pacific Corporate Group. So now I’ll just use an adjective: Dysfunctional.

For the uninitiated, PCG is a La Jolla, Calif.-based private equity consultant and fund-of-funds manager with an unparalleled ability to chase away top talent. Names like Mike Moy, Kelly DePonte, Scott Vollmer, Craig White and Peter Martenson litter its roster of dearly departed.

Just this past September, managing directors Monte Brem, Tara Blackburn and Steve Moseley quit after being unable to resolve firm economics and governance issues with PCG chief Chris Bower. European managing director Michael Russell left soon after, and last month business development head Michael Underhill also resigned. The common thread here is Bower’s “King of the Castle” mentality, but that’s another story for another time.

The story for this morning is that two more MDs are gone: David Scopelliti and Tom Keck. These two were cited by PCG as folks who would help right the ship in the wake of all those earlier departures, and by all indications they were helping to do the job. More than one ex-PCG pro had noted to me how things finally appeared to have stabilized (“Seems like PCG is on life number nine.”).

Multiple sources tell me that both Scopelliti and Keck were pushed, after expressing serious reservations over many of the same issues that had caused the September exits. This means that they are not under any non-compete agreements, unlike Brem, Blackburn, etc.

It also means that PCG is now without two of the four members of the management committee it created just two months ago. Again, dysfunctional. PCG advisory clients already were expressing serious concerns over the turnover – Oregon even issued a new RFP – and the firm has now booted the very people designated to cure its ills. Any client who doesn’t now follow Oregon’s lead is either a fool or already on vacation.

Neither side is saying much. PCG claims that it does not expect these moves to have significant impact on its operations (perhaps it also no longer expects spring to follow winter), while Scopelliti and Keckwould would only confirm that the pair is no longer employed by PCG.