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Perseus' name-brand bankers

The revolving door between Washington and Wall Street was spinning fast last month when former Fannie Mae chairman Jim Johnson and ex-United Nations ambassador Richard Holbrooke announced plans to join the same private equity firm.

The revolving door between Washington and Wall Street was spinning fast last month when former Fannie Mae chairman Jim Johnson and ex-United Nations ambassador Richard Holbrooke announced plans to join the same private equity firm. Perseus, which has offices in New York and Washington, is run by chairman Frank Pearl, who made a fortune during the 1980s running LBO firm Wesray Capital with former Treasury secretary William Simon. Johnson, 57, who ran Fannie Mae for the better part of the 1990s, says Pearl's track record is a big reason he's joining Perseus. With the downturn in the economy and markets, Johnson sees a wealth of investment opportunities. "Public markets have knocked down values," he explains. "It is also a time when those in the private equity world, like Perseus, who have accumulated investment funds and have a very high level of success, are well positioned." The new vice chairmen won't be concentrating on any particular areas. "Dick and I will be available to be engaged across the full range of Perseus' activities," says Johnson.