The progressive blogosphere was buzzing today after a report revealed a former Goldman Sachs VP changed his name shortly after leaving the bank and before joining House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform headed by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California).The article from ThinkProgressive claimed Peter Haller, formerly known as Peter Simonyi, changed his name in order to conceal his move from Goldman to lobbying against bank regulations.
It’s true that he’s attempting to “thwart regulations that affect Goldman Sachs’ bottom line” by fighting against regulations that could hurt the bank.
But as we suspected, there’s no conspiracy about his name change. He was open about it from the get-go.
Haller told Kevin Roose at DealBook in an emailed statement the reason he changed his name to his mother’s maiden name in 2008 was because he’s a descendant of a Transylvania count. And after leaving Goldman, he finally had time to do the paperwork.
My mother, whose maiden name is Theodora Maria Theresia haller-koi gr Haller (in the U.S., Dora Haller), married Imre Gabor Simonyi and took his name. Her father Alfred haller-koi gr Haller was killed in Budapest in 1944 by fascists as he attempted to prevent children from being conscripted into the military. Prior to his return to Hungary in 1944, he served under Regent Miklos Horthy, as a Hungarian diplomat stationed in England supporting the British in opposition to Germany. His last request was that if Theodora marries, her husband and children would carry on the Haller name.
As my sister and I became adults, at some point discussions began that we should carry on the name of my mother’s family, which had lived in Transylvania, up until it was granted to Romania under the Treaty of Trianon after World War I. During a period of unemployment following my time at Goldman Sachs, I found the time to proceed with the name change, as did my sister. Please note my father and mother remain happily married to this day.