Talk:Bain & Company

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As far as I understand it, Bain primarily competes against McKinsey and BCG. There are much bigger consulting firms with larger "market share" if you define consulting broadly, but in terms of pitching actual client work, Bain primarily sees just McKinsey and BCG. Fairsing 23:21, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. When preparing for a bakeoff, a Bain pitch would stress the attributes that distinguish it from BCG and McKinsey, not Mercer or Booz-Allen. (The distinguishing factor for those are pretty clear - $$$.)

Not sure that I would describe Monitor Group as a 'boutique'. The firm has about 1,500 consultants and a global presence. It is also the leader in areas such as innovation, pricing and scenario thinking. No need to start an edit war though, so I will leave this and see if the person who made the edit has further context for the decision.steven (talk) 22:40, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Near bankruptcy & other failures[edit]

Wasn't Bain & Company near bankrupt at one point? Did the firm suffer any other major failures (Bain itself and/or its clients)? What I like about Wikipedia is that you get to find out information that companies don't publicize on their webpages.

The most serious threat Bain has faced was not an issue of business practice, but of internal politics. Thwarting the attempted buyout by former partners placed severe stress on the company's financial position. This is the "failed buyout attempt" mentioned in the wiki entry, and I assume it's the "near bankruptcy" you're referring to. Beyond that, Bain has certainly had both client successes and client failures, but that's more an issue of management consulting in general. I'm not aware of any failures on the level of, say, Enron/Anderson Accounting that seriously destabilized the firm.


This History is way out of date. The year is 2007, and 90% of the information in the history section is from the 80s. There is almost nothing from the 90s and there is nothing after 2000.


I performed a rewrite of the page; in addition to condensing the language, I used several other sources to add more color to the article. The previous version seemed to be a chopped up crib of the Vault guide, with a large amount of unnecessary detail. I've tried to compress that work into its main themes (early successes, Guiness debacle, ESOP double-debacle, Romney's return), and then added more about the recovery in the 1990s where the original article stopped. Would be happy to discuss any changes on the talkpage. (I have also removed the unsourced-tag.)

Blatant Advertising[edit]

This page is a clear violation of Blatant Advertising rules and is potential grounds for deletion.

Needs to be edited to report relevant company facts rather than act as an advertisement or it will be subject to a speedy deletion.


Books written by people associated with the company do not fit on this page.


Several Senior Bain & Company Partners have used the firm’s analysis coupled with their personal experience across industries to write a number of books on common issues faced by firms and their executives in today’s business environment. These books exemplify the type of results-based focus that is the basis of the consultancy and include the following publications:

  • The Loyalty Effect: the Hidden Force Behind Growth, Profits and Lasting Value was written by Bain & Company partner Frederick F. Reichheld and was published in 1996. In it Reichheld reveals the fundamental business philosophies of successful companies that base their business strategies on loyal relationships. With concrete advice that has stood the test of time, he analyzes the true economics that drive long-term business success, and his startling conclusions and examples of loyalty leaders show how even a small improvement in customer retention can sometimes double profits.
  • Loyalty Rules: How Today’s Leaders Build Lasting Relationships is the 2001 sequel to Reichheld’s international bestseller, The Loyalty Effect. In its pages, Reichheld provides the acid test for leadership in today’s volatile business environment and finds that most leaders deserve failing grades. Reichheld uses vivid stories to illustrate how superior leaders create networks of mutually beneficial, trust-inspiring partnerships between customers, employees, suppliers and investors, demonstrating that the most effective leaders build these relationships upon six bedrock principles of loyalty: Play to win/win, be picky, Keep it simple, Reward the right results, Listen hard and talk straight, and Preach what you practice.
  • Profit from the Core: Growth Strategy in an Era of Turbulence is a 2001 book by Bain & Company’s Chris Zook and James Allen in which they argue that a timeless strategic principle-building market power in a well defined core business-remains the key source of competitive advantage and the most viable platform for successful expansion. Based on a ten-year study of 2,000 companies conducted by Bain & Company, the book identifies three factors that differentiate growth strategies that succeed from those that fail: 1) reaching full potential in the core business; 2) expanding into businesses adjacent to that core; and 3) preemptively redefining the core business in times of market turbulence. Explaining how leaders can adapt their strategies in response to a rapidly changing business environment, the book concludes with guidelines for becoming sustained value creators—companies capable of successfully refining and redefining their core businesses over the long haul.
  • Aligning the Stars: How to Succeed when Professionals Drive Results is the 2002 work of Bain & Company’s Thomas Tierney and Jay W. Lorsch in which they examine the professional service industry, a rapidly expanding, trillion dollar field whose primary competitive advantage is found in its professionals and how they are managed. From strategy to organization to culture, it offers customized insights for businesses in which professionals drive bottom-line results and long-term company success. By describing how to attract, retain, motivate, organize, and lead the stars that shape a company's destiny, this book provides valuable lessons for the current and future leaders of every talent-driven business.
  • Beyond the Core: Expand Your Market Without Abandoning Your Roots: In his 2003 sequel to Profit from the Core, Chris Zook answers the question of what happens when your core business hits a wall. In Beyond the Core, Zook outlines an expansion strategy based on putting together combinations of adjacency moves into areas away from, but related to, the core business, such as new product lines or new channels of distribution. Beyond the Core shows how to find and leverage the best avenues for growth—without damaging the heart of the firm.
  • Mastering the Merger: Four Critical Decisions that Make or Break the Deal was written by David Harding and Sam Rovit in 2004 and examines the fact that today’s corporate deal makers face a conundrum: Though 70% of major acquisitions fail, it’s nearly impossible to build a world class company without doing deals. This book simplifies the process by focusing on just four key imperatives that can dramatically improve M&A success before executives finalize the deal. Based on more than 30 years of in-the-trenches work on thousands of deals across a range of industries—and supplemented by extensive Bain & Co. research—Harding and Rovit reveal that the best M&A performers channel their efforts into (1) targeting deals that advance the core business; (2) determining which deals to close and when to walk away; (3) identifying where to integrate—and where not to; and (4) developing contingency plans for when deals inevitably stray. Helping executives zero in on what matters most in the complex world of M&A, Mastering the Merger offers a blueprint for the decisions and strategies that will beat the odds.
  • The Ultimate Question: For Driving Good Profits and True Growth was published in 2006 and was written by Fred Reichheld in order to examine why companies fail to achieve the ambitious growth targets their CEOs set for them, boosting short term earnings but alienating customers in the process. Reichheld’s most recent publication shows how to reverse this equation, turning customers into promoters who generate good profits and true, sustainable growth. This strategy is based around the simple question “Would you recommend us to a friend?” and forces the company to track performance through the customer’s eyes using something called the Net Promoter Score, the single most reliable indicator of the company’s ability to grow. The Ultimate Question shows how companies can measure this score, help managers improve it and create communities of passionate advocates that stimulate innovation.
  • Unstoppable: Finding Hidden Assets to Renew the Core and Restore Profitable Growth (2007) by Chris Zook shows managers how to face an uncertain future by looking deep within their organizations and finding undervalued, unrecognized or underutilized assets that can serve as new platforms for sustainable growth. Drawing on more than 30 interviews with CEOs from companies such as De Beers, American Express, and Samsung, it shows readers how to recognize when the core needs reinvention and how to deploy the "hidden assets" that can be the basis for tomorrow's growth. Building on the author's previous books, Profit from the Core and Beyond the Core, this book shows how any company in crisis can transform itself to become truly unstoppable.

For more information please see:

09/19/2007 - 17:00 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:44, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree, the recruiting part especially reads like something from an internal pep magazine. (talk) 02:35, 23 November 2007 (UTC)Hicham Vanborm

This was especially evident in the "Recruiting" section. I've modified it, but haven't really checked the rest. I encourage everyone to make attempts towards neutralizing "advertisement speech", in addition to/instead of posting multiple comments about the issue.-DMCer (talk) 11:27, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Bain & Company[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Bain & Company's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "Vault":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 06:35, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Looks OK to me. The article has the format of the BCG citation above, which I've also copied to the McKinsey article.—DMCer 23:31, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Orphaned references in the talk page[edit]

Misleading content related to so-called Bain India incident[edit]

There was a section in this article that made very little sense, and was been introduced after the efforts of multiple people to delete it. The section alleged a Bain & Company connection to India's anti-corruption movement. There was no backup for content of this section. The section made allegations about corruption, and backed it up with citations to sources that did not mention corruption. The section made allegations about Bain influencing things, and backed it up with citations to sources that did not mention Bain. The section made statements about an anti-corruption campaigner, cobbling together information that seems to be about several people of the same name, and adding to it information not backed up by any of sources cited.

Consensus was to delete this section. The discussion has been archived at: Talk:Bain & Company/Misleading content related to so-called Bain India incident.--Toddy1 (talk) 06:38, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

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