Illinois TRS Ditches PCG

The Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois (TRS) has announced plans to issue an RFP for a private equity consultant after Pacific Corporate Group (PCG) parted ways with TRS’s lead consultant. The move comes less than two quarters after TRS hired the consultancy firm.

“TRS is clearly disappointed in the recent events at PCG and the departure of our lead consultant at the firm. We want to ensure TRS employs the most capable advisors as it relates to our investment program,” says Stan Rupnik, Chief Investment Officer at TRS.

For those who missed Dan’s wire one week ago: 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 story last week was that two more managing directors were gone: David Scopelliti and Tom Keck.

So much for PCG’s claim that the departures wouldn’t affect business.

Illinois TRS had been working with Tara Blackburn before she left in September, then with Tom Keck, who left last week. TRS Spokesperson Eva Goltermann points out that TRS did not fire PCG and that the consultancy is welcome to submit proposal for the contract.