Richard Hunt Leaving SIFMA

Posted November 12, 2008 at 12:44pm

Updated: 2:41 p.m.

In the latest example of top GOP lobbyists being shown the door at trade associations and corporate offices, Richard Hunt, senior managing director for government affairs at the downsizing Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, is leaving the group on Saturday, according to an e-mail announcement from the group’s chief executive officer, Tim Ryan.

Hunt’s departure comes just weeks after the financial services industry association announced that it was cutting 40 jobs, or nearly 25 percent of its employees. The layoffs, which largely came from Washington, D.C., and New York, included GOP lobbyist Jill Hershey, who focused on municipal bond and tax issues, and Amy Mathis, who headed up the trade group’s political action committee.

“Richard’s strategic and leadership acumen have benefitted SIFMA and its membership for over seven years,” Ryan said in the e-mail, which began circulating on Wednesday. “Richard was instrumental in many of SIFMA’s biggest legislative victories during his tenure — most notably the extension of capital gains and dividends tax rates,” Ryan added in the e-mail.

Ryan said that Hunt will remain as a consultant to SIFMA, and sources said Hunt is now using an e-mail address at huntgroupdc.com, indicating that he is starting his own consulting venture.

Hunt did not return an e-mail request for comment.

Just last month, Comcast Corp. announced that the head of its D.C. office, Republican Kerry Knott, was leaving and will set up his own shop. Like Hunt, Knott will remain an industry consultant, to the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

Democratic lobbying sources said that Hunt, a former top aide to then-House Ways and Means Chairman Jim McCrery (R-La.), has long been viewed as overtly partisan.

He favored a policy of Democratic lobbyists visiting only Democratic Congressional offices and Republican lobbyists attending meetings with GOP offices, sources said.

Until this recent change, Hunt had led the group’s government affairs along with Democrat Scott DeFife, a former aide to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

Since August, both DeFife and Hunt have reported to Michael Pease, formerly an aide to Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

A SIFMA spokesman declined to comment.