Most of the staff of Disabato Advisers, including its managing director, will join Meketa Investment Group, effective Nov. 1, in what principals of the two investment consulting firms describe as a liftout.
Meketa didn't acquire the firm, said Ted L. Disabato, Disabato Advisers' managing director, and Peter. S. Woolley, Meketa managing principal and co-CEO, in interviews.
Aside from Mr. Disabato, five members, all professionals, of Disabato Advisers will join Meketa.
Two other professionals at Disabato Advisers were not invited to join Meketa and have found other employment, Mr. Disabato said.
Disabato Advisers, which is owned by Mr. Disabato, will close as soon as it can be wound down.
Mr. Disabato will join Meketa on Nov. 1 as managing principal and a shareholder, co-heading Meketa's new Chicago office with Alexandra B. “Alli” Wallace. Ms. Wallace will be promoted to principal from vice president and move from Meketa's main office in Boston.
Meketa has more than 120 employees, including 70 professionals, and $350 billion in assets under advisement from 100 clients, Mr. Woolley said.
Disabato Advisers has 10 employees, including Mr. Disabato and seven other professionals, and $7 billion in assets under advisement, Mr. Disabato said.
“We could have done this as an asset purchase,” Mr. Disabato said. “But the way that made most sense for us is that our staff joined Meketa and then we wind down operations of Disabato Advisers. You might think of it as a liftout of (most) of the entire staff of Disabato Advisers to Meketa. … It's an acquisition of staff.”
“I'm not in this to cash out,” Mr. Disabato said. “This was not a financial transaction.”
“It wouldn't be right to say there is no consideration being given for that,” Mr. Disabato said. “That wouldn't be accurate. Whenever somebody joins a firm there is agreement of what the compensation is going to be.” But there is “no upfront payment,” he added.
Mr. Disabato has an employment agreement with Meketa, he said. “My intent is to be at Meketa for a long time. This isn't an exit of Ted Disabato. This is an effort to help Meketa grow its Chicago office.”
“We will conduct our business as Meketa employees as of Nov. 1,” Mr. Disabato added, saying he expects all Disabato clients to move to Meketa.
Both Meketa and Disabato Advisers have a mix of corporate and public retirement fund clients, as well as endowments and foundations, Messrs. Disabato and Woolley said.