WASHINGTON — Jim Pitts, chief of staff for Sen. Spencer Abraham, R-Mich., who lost his reelection bid last month, is slated to succeed Allen Caskie next month as executive director of the Financial Services Coordinating Council’s privacy project.

Mr. Caskie, who has run defense against new state and federal privacy laws for nearly a year, is planning to return to the American Council of Life Insurers, where he had been a senior counsel before spearheading the privacy project.

Mr. Pitts comes to the job with staunch Republican credentials. He served as former President Reagan’s advance man and as former Vice President Quayle’s political director. He also is a former deputy publisher of The Weekly Standard.

The battle over privacy legislation is expected to intensify next year. Privacy hawks in Congress and state legislatures are gearing up to try to enact laws to block banks and other companies from sharing financial data about their customers.

This year the financial services industry successfully fended off such legislation.

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