Bill Bain (consultant)

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This article is about the consultant. For other uses of this name, see Bill Bain (disambiguation).
Bill Bain
Bill Bain.jpg
Bill Bain in 1981
Born William Worthington Bain, Jr.
1937 (age 79–80)
Johnson City, Tennessee
Residence Naples, Florida
Alma mater Vanderbilt University (B.A., History, 1959)
Occupation Consultant, Management expert
Known for Bain & Company, Bain Capital

William Worthington "Bill" Bain, Jr. (born 1937) is an American management consultant, known for his role as one of the founders of the management consultancy that bears his name, Bain & Company.[1][2] Prior to founding Bain & Company, Bill Bain was a Vice-President at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).[1]

Life and career[edit]

William Bain was born in 1937 in Johnson City, Tennessee, to a food wholesaler.[1][2] He attended East Tennessee State College for two years before transferring to Vanderbilt University, where he was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.[1] He graduated in 1959, earning Phi Beta Kappa honors, with a degree in history.[1][2][3] He then got married and became a father.[1] He did graduate work in history at Vanderbilt as a Woodrow Wilson Scholar in 1960.[1][2] He briefly worked at a steel fabricating company before returning to Vanderbilt in 1960 to work as the school's director of development.[1] In this capacity, he met Bruce Henderson, the founder of the Boston Consulting Group.[1] After meeting Henderson, Bain chose to join BCG.[1]

In the early 1970s, Bain was considered internally at Boston Consulting Group to be Henderson's eventual successor. However, in 1973 Bain resigned from BCG to start his own strategy consulting firm.[1] Bain quickly recruited Black & Decker and Texas Instruments, two BCG clients, as his own clients,[1] and hired six of BCG's employees. Bain's new company diverged from other consulting firms of the time by focusing on longer assignments.[1] He also sought to develop close relations with the companies, helping not only to devise strategy but also to implement it.[1] He also promised not to represent more than one client per industry,[1][4] and for many years would only accept assignments that reported to the client's CEO.

He formed Bain Capital, a private equity firm, in 1984,[2][3] and appointed Mitt Romney, one of the partners at Bain & Company, to be Bain Capital's first CEO.

After leaving Bain, he was chairman of the board of Bain, Willard Companies, L. P. which he co-founded in 1993 with Ralph R. Willard, President of Bain, Willard.[2][3] He also was a director of Hinckley Yachts.[2][3]

Charitable work[edit]

Bain is a longtime trustee of several children’s charities in Boston, including Children’s Hospital Boston, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston and the Posse Foundation.[2][3] He also serves on the Board of Trust of Vanderbilt University.[2][3] and has been a Trustee of the Naples Children and Education Foundation in Naples, FL since 2002.

Personal life[edit]

He has four children, William III, Adam, Alexander, and Samantha. He resides in Naples, Florida with his wife, Ann.[3]

He has numerous other family members who reside in Florida.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Counselor To The King". The New York Times. September 24, 1989. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Wine Festival 2008: McNulty/Bain". Naples Daily News. January 28, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Board of Trust: William W. Bain, Jr.". Vanderbilt University. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. 
  4. ^ Emmons, Garry, ed. (March 2010). "Lords of Strategy: Inventing Business's Great Game". Alumni Bulletin. Harvard Business School. Retrieved 26 May 2011.