The former managing partner of Arthur Andersen's Chicago Office and more than 20 former Andersen partners and staff have launched a new tax and business advisory firm, True Partners Consulting LLC.

Cary D. McMillan, who ran Andersen's largest office and most recently served as chief financial officer of Sara Lee Corp. will serve as chief executive of the venture. Joining him will be 25 other former Andersen partners and staff. In addition to the capital provided by its five managing directors, True Partners has also secured $20 million in funding from Chicago-based private equity firm Waud Capital Partners LLC.

The company said it plans to help public companies and private enterprises navigate the numerous federal and state tax laws and increasingly complex financial regulations by providing in-depth technical expertise but avoiding the potential Sarbanes-Oxley-related conflicts that companies offering both consulting and audit services face.

"True Partners will be an attractive alternative to the Big Four firms for prospective employees because we will provide the same expertise and blue-chip client work, but with an entrepreneurial culture instead of the typical bureaucracy and hierarchy," said McMillan, in a statement. "We believe giving our employees the opportunity to have more control over their careers and to work together more collaboratively will result in better client service and improved career opportunities."

True Partners also received $900,000 in support from Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's comprehensive economic development program, Opportunity Returns. The state's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is administering the investment package, which includes corporate income tax credits over the next 10 years.

The firm is headquartered in Chicago and has offices in New York and Los Angeles. It plans to open a Southeast office in Florida in February 2006 and to have more than 150 employees strategically located in offices around the country.

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