Washington (May 15, 2003) -- Former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Harvey Pitt, who resigned in November amidst a hailstorm of criticism, is moving over to consulting, announcing plans this week to form Kalorama Partners LLC, a crisis-management concern based here.
Pitt’s firm will specialize in both crisis management and corporate governance issues in the wake of the last year’s passage of Sarbanes-Oxley.
“It’s safe to say he’s had his share of experience in that area,” said accounting industry consultant and PDI Global president Allan Koltin. “Hopefully from some of the painful lessons he’s learned, he’ll help others to not make the same mistakes.”
Pitt’s rocky 16-month tenure as SEC chair was marked by controversies, including meeting with the heads of Big Four accounting firms that were under SEC probes; doing an end run around the White House by petitioning Congress for a raise; and bypassing reform-minded TIAA-CREF chair John Biggs to head the Public Company Accounting Oversight board in favor of William Webster. Webster resigned after it was revealed that he headed the audit committee of a company under investigation for accounting irregularities.
Before joining the SEC in August 2001, Pitt was a well-known securities lawyer at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, representing the nation's largest accounting firms and the American Institute of CPAs, among other high-profile clients.
New York Lawyer reported that the name “Kalorama” apparently refers to the ritzy Kalorama section of Washington, where Pitt owns a home. It added that Pitt would bring in some partners, including long-time friend Terry Lenzner, chairman of D.C.-based private investigative firm Investigative Group International Inc.
-- Bill Carlino
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