Former BRC Staffers Form New Firm

April 11, 2002 ( - Shortly after opting out of newly-formed CRA RogersCasey, 16 former BARRA RogersCasey (BRC) employees have formed their own consulting company in the face of legal threats and a newly named managing director at CRA RogersCasey.

The 16 former BRC employees, who left the company after it was taken over by Capital Resource Advisors (CRA), have formed Rocaton Investment Advisors. Like BRC – now CRA RogersCasey – the new firm is based in Darien, Connecticut. Former BRC chief executive Robin Pellish is managing principal. The new firm counts six senior BRC consultants and the research heads of the major asset classes at BRC among its ranks.

Like BRC, Rocaton will focus on ‘high quality, high value’ consulting services to institutional investors, said David Katz, a principal with Rocaton. The firm will focus on asset allocation, manager selection and performance measurement, among other disciplines.

Complete Shock

The new partners are working to get their new company off the ground after a longstanding desire to acquire BRC from BARRA in a management buy-out. When that didn’t materialize, they quickly considered their options. ‘It was a complete shock to us that this acquisition occurred,’ Katz said.

The new company doesn’t have clients yet and is currently ‘responding to calls from institutional investors interested in talking to us,’ according to Katz, who couches his words carefully, presumably mindful of the ongoing legal action on CRA’s part.Over the weekend, CRA served injunction orders to keep the former BRC staffers from talking to former BRC clients and filed lawsuits against each of them over an alleged breach of their contracts with BRC.

In commenting on its suit, CRA said its lawyers ‘advised us that the abuse of agreements signed by each of the departed employees has been so egregious that we had no choice but to defend the rights of CRA RogersCasey and the rights of our 170 hard-working employees.”

An official speaking on behalf of the departed employees maintained that their employment at BRC was not tied to a non-compete. They had signed a confidentiality agreement, which allows them to compete, as long as they compete ‘fairly,’ this source said, who expressed confidence that the former BRC staffers are not violating the law.

On the Case

Meanwhile, CRA RogersCasey announced that it named Steven Case managing director, responsible for client relationships. Case worked as managing director at Rogers Casey in the 1990s. Most recently, he was with AXA Financial as Vice President/Performance Analysis for its $40 billion Variable Life and Annuity Trust.  Previously, he worked for the Rockefeller Foundation and Putnam Investments.