NEW YORK, June 21—With corporate governance policies facing intense scrutiny in the wake of Enron and other scandals, Edelman Financial, the financial communications and investor relations group of Edelman Worldwide, has formed a joint venture with Richard Breeden, former chairman of the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission. The two will advise public companies and their boards of directors on corporate governance issues. 
The new venture, called Edelman Corporate Governance Advisors, will help clients assess and benchmark against peers their corporate governance practices in areas such as review of accounting decisions, disclosure policy, ethical standards, internal controls and issues relating to board structure, membership or performance evaluation.
The venture will also work with clients to favorably communicate and garner recognition for their governance policies with key audiences including the financial press, regulatory agencies and major investors.
“The vitality of our capital markets depends on a level of trust between a company’s management and its shareholders, and that trust has steadily eroded over the last year in the wake of audit failures, earnings restatements and government investigations,” said Hollis Rafkin-Sax, global head of Edelman Financial.  “In partnering with Richard Breeden, we can now offer a company’s management and board an independent, authoritative and credible service that aligns their policies with best governance practices and helps to build investor confidence through effective communications.”
Breeden, who served as chairman of the SEC from 1989 to 1993, is currently chairman of Richard C. Breeden & Co., a Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm specializing in corporate workouts and distress situations, as well as strategic consulting in corporate governance, accounting and disclosure issues. Breeden will serve as Chairman of Edelman’s new Corporate Governance Advisors group, which will be led by Edelman Financial.
Said Breeden, “There can be no doubt that this is a critical period for companies and their boards. The marketplace is demanding a higher standard of conduct, greater accountability and increased transparency. I am excited about this strategic partnership with Edelman and look forward to combining our expertise and working with companies on these important issues.”