04/25/2012 03:44 pm ET

Robert Gates Joins Consulting Group Launched By Bush Officials Condoleezza Rice, Stephen Hadley

Condoleezza Rice, Robert Gates and Stephen Hadley are joining forces again to create a powerhouse GOP consulting shop, the Associated Press reported Wednesday in advance of an official announcement.

The firm, RiceHadleyGates, will be based in Washington, D.C., and California, and pulls together three top Bush administration officials. Gates, the former Defense Secretary under both Bush and President Obama, brings bipartisan credentials to the firm, an important element for any company that wants to work in the world of international business, where partisanship can alienate needed allies.

Rice, the former Secretary of State, remains a largely popular figure, despite her connection to the war in Iraq. Hadley is a longtime colleague of Rice's and succeeded her as National Security Advisor. The two had been in business together prior to the creation of the new firm.

Hadley has been floated as a possible secretary of state under a Mitt Romney administration.

The trio has company in the move from high government to consultancy. Stanley McChrystal, after being fired by President Obama, launched the McChrystal Group.