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Caught Our Eye

Name-changing Goldman Sachs VP-turned-committee staffer starts his own firm

Posted by John Sugden on June 2, 2014
An embattled former committee staffer and financial industry veteran has left Capitol Hill in favor of his own Hill-focused firm.

Peter Haller made headlines in 2011 when ThinkProgress revealed that he had previously worked for investment giant Goldman Sachs under the name Peter Simonyi, and had legally changed it before taking a job in Congress. The story raised conflict of interest concerns from consumer activists.

Haller began his career doing economic research before working for both the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In 2005, Haller, then known as Simonyi, left the regulatory body for investment banking giant Goldman Sachs. He then joined lobbying firm Brickfield, Burchette, Ritts and Stone in 2008 and legally changed his name.

In 2011, Haller was hired by House Oversight Committee Chairman and noted deregulation advocate Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to work for the committee as senior counsel. Issa himself has ties to Goldman Sachs, having come under criticism for purchasing bonds from the investment bank while defending it from a congressional investigation.

Haller asserted in 2011 that the name change was meant to carry on his mother's maiden name to honor her family.

Haller left his most recent position on the House Financial Services Committee to start Hill Strategy LLC. According to its website, the company seeks to assist "financial institutions in communications with Congress, regulators and the press."