Investment banking firm Peter J. Solomon Co. has named Dr. John Pound a senior adviser to the firm.

Pound is an angel investor, as well as a former Harvard professor and former senior economist with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He has experience with start-ups and turnarounds at retail and consumer goods firms and a background in corporate governance and activist investment strategy.

Peter J. Solomon, the investment bank’s founder and chairman, said, “At a time when retailers continue to face significant challenges, John’s entrepreneurial background as an operator and investor, and his experience in governance, will enhance our ability to provide clients with thoughtful advice and creative solutions.”

Pound said that in his past corporate involvements, he’s observed the investment bank’s “unique approach, which is focused on comprehensive strategic advice to clients.”

Since leaving academia in 1997, Pound has focused on retail and consumer-products firms. He has been involved in more than a dozen turnarounds at public retailers, either as a board member, as in Gymboree, or as chairman of e-commerce gift retailer Red Envelope and Spy Optic. Pound more recently has been a venture capitalist to emerging brands, such as Portland-based apparel start-up Wildfang.

In 1999, Pound founded Integrity Brands Inc., a private investment and advisory practice in the specialty retail, multichannel and consumer brands sectors.

P.J. Solomon, founded in 1989, has advised on over $250 billion worth of transactions. Last month it entered into an agreement with Natixis, a French financial services firm, which will acquire a 51 percent stake in the American investment banking company. The transaction helps the U.S.-based firm expand overseas and the French company to enter the U.S. mergers and acquisitions market.

Peter J. Solomon, the company’s founder, remains chairman. Marc Cooper, currently vice chairman, has been promoted to chief executive officer. Cooper’s promotion is expected to become effective when the Natixis deal closes, which is slated for the second quarter of this year.