There's a revolving door between Washington and Wall Street. Here are some of the biggest names to pass through

There has long been a revolving door between Washington and Wall Street – and nowhere is that more evident than in the private equity industry.
Buyout firms lean on political connections for international introductions and regulatory clout.

Over the years, some of the biggest private equity firms have sought the very biggest names leaving senior roles in DC. This includes Blackstone, KKR, Apollo and the Carlyle Group.

The list of recruits spans from ex-Presidents to regulatory heads to people who worked among top spies. Here’s some of the biggest names:

The name William Simon might not ring a lot of bells on Wall Street (but, it should).

Treasury Department
Portrait of ex-Treasury Secretary William Simon.

In Washington: William Simon served as Secretary of the Treasury in the 1970s under President's Nixon and Ford.

On Wall Street: Simon was a DC pioneer in PE. In 1982 he reportedly invested more than $US300,000 in one of Wall Street's earliest leveraged buyouts, Gibson Greetings. It netted him more than $US66 million and served as inspiration for Carlyle co-CEO David Rubenstein's career.

George H. W. Bush

Getty Images/Ronald Martinez
President Bush served in an advisory role with the Carlyle Group after his exit from the White House.

In Washington: President George H. W. Bush has obviously had a long career: he was 41st President of the US from 1989 to 1993, and spent 8 years as vice president under President Ronald Reagan. Before that, he was a congressman, ambassador and director of the CIA.

On Wall St.: After his career in politics ended, Bush joined private equity firm Carlyle Group as senior advisor to the Carlyle Asia advisory board. He has since retired.

Jon Samuels
Jon Samuels pictured with President Barack Obama in July 2014

In Washington: Jon Samuels served as deputy assistant to the President for legislative affairs. He spent nearly six years working in the White House.

On Wall St.: These days, he can be found at Vistria Group, an Illinois-based middle-market private equity shop focusing on education, financial services and healthcare deals. Vistria is a fund with more than $US300 million, founded in part by Marty Nesbitt, who golfs regularly with President Barack Obama.

Bob Grady

Gryphon Investors
Bob Grady's DC experience dates back the first Bush White House

In Washington: Grady spent four years as a senior policy advisor to President George H. W. Bush. Other roles in DC for Grady include his role as deputy assistant to the President, executive director of the Office of Management & Budget and other policy roles.

On Wall St.: He the Carlyle Group for a nine-year stint beginning in 2000, and these days he's head of Gryphon Investors' general industries group, which he joined earlier this year. The private equity firm is based in San Francisco, but Grady's LinkedIn profile says he's in Wyoming.

Evan Bayh

Evan Bayh served in Indiana's state government, and also in the US Senate.

In Washington: Evan Bayh quickly rose through the ranks, from being Indiana's Secretary of State to its Governor, to next serving as Senator in Washington, DC.

On Wall St.: Bayh took a job at Apollo Global Management in 2011. These days, he can be found at K Street firm McGuireWoods Consulting.

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