A new lobbying firm launched by the former chief executive officer at the Podesta Group, a Democratic powerhouse lobbying shop that announced it would close its doors after being linked to an investigation involving the foreign lobbying dealings of Paul Manafort, has signed its first clients, according to disclosures.
Kimberley Fritts, who acted at the Podesta Group's CEO, launched Cogent Strategies LLC, a D.C.-based lobbying shop, in November and brought a number of former Podesta Group lobbyists with her to the new venture that will focus on foreign lobbying and public relations.
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Tony Podesta, the founder of the Podesta Group and brother of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's former campaign chairman, announced that he was stepping down from his firm after it was found to be involved in an investigation into Manafort's foreign lobbying dealings.
Fritts, who has worked with Podesta for more than 20 years, was expected to launch a spinoff of the Podesta Group. However, the longtime Podesta confidante instead launched her own firm, which signed its first ten clients on Sunday.
Cogent Strategies was retained by the Business Roundtable, Enterprise Holdings, Gramercy Funds Management, Independent Film and Television Alliance, One Concern, Inc., Pearl Mobile DTV Company LLC, Shaw Industries Group, South Carolina Ports Authority, SPIE – the international society for optics and photonics, and The Optical Society, disclosures show.
All ten clients were previously signed with the Podesta Group.