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Harvey Pitt is back. The erstwhile chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and longtime leader within the private securities bar has embarked on a new consulting venture, several sources close to Pitt confirm. Dubbed Kalorama Partners LLC, and based in Washington, D.C., Pitt’s new consultancy is still in a formative stage, some of these sources say, although they note that Pitt has already been retained by at least two clients. The name of the venture appears to be a reference to the tony Kalorama section of the District, where Pitt owns a home. Pitt is expected to bring in a few partners, two sources familiar with the matter say, including Terry Lenzner, chairman of D.C.-based private investigation firm Investigative Group International Inc. Lenzner’s firm conducts, among other services, internal investigations of potential fraud within companies and other organizations, such as nonprofits. Pitt declined to comment on the matter, other than to say, “There are a number of things I want to do. I’ll probably be doing some teaching, and I am interested in setting up a consulting firm, which I’m in the process of doing.” Lenzner, who is a lawyer, did not reply to two requests for comment. It’s unclear what types of services Pitt’s consultancy will offer, and to whom. But people close to Pitt, including several former SEC officials, say they expect he’ll offer guidance to large corporations on corporate governance and crisis management. Before he resigned as SEC chairman in November, Pitt stated publicly on several occasions that he did not wish to return to the practice of law. He had been a longtime partner and rainmaker in the D.C. office of New York’s Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson before he signed on as SEC chairman in August 2001. Pitt’s brief and tumultuous tenure at the helm of the SEC ended earlier this year after a mini-scandal ensnared William Webster, Pitt’s nominee to head up the new Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. That debacle and the vitriol of his many critics while he was in office may have tarnished Pitt’s public image. But securities experts say he’s still likely to be viewed by sophisticated corporate players as a valuable behind-the-scenes counselor — particularly on the host of new corporate reform rules the SEC issued under his leadership. “Harvey has clearly got the qualifications and the profile to offer strategic advice in the way that Henry Kissinger does,” says James Doty, a D.C. securities partner at Baker Botts and former SEC general counsel. For consultants at that level, he adds, “blue-chip clients pay substantial, handsome retainers.”

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