A career accelerator
Most of our employees chose Bain because they want to continue to learn throughout their careers. Bain is a career accelerator so the experience, exposure and learnings you will gain in a short amount of time will prove invaluable - just two or three years at Bain will open doors that others could not even fathom.
Whether you continue to progress within Bain, and deliver lasting results for influential organizations, or pursue the next step in your long-term career plan outside of Bain, we offer the best practical learning environment. Those who decide to leave Bain are equipped with a unique and transferable skill-set that enables them to run organizations of any size and thrive in any industry - our alumni network and former employees' stories offer continuous proof of this.
Here are some examples of industries where our alumni have put their Bain experience to work:
- Global 500: Bain works with two-thirds of the Global 500 plus thousands of notable regional and local organizations. The experiences alone, but also the relationships with these influential clients translate into our people earning roles in these organizations years before they could have without their Bain experience.
- Startups: Our people get an inside view of the day-to-day realities of running a business. The experience often inspires our alumni to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities.
- Private equity: As the market leader in private equity consulting, it's no surprise that many of our alumni have found success in the private equity field.
- Nonprofits: Our pro bono and volunteer work, along with our relationship with The Bridgespan Group, allows our people to make an impact in the community while at Bain, which many continue after leaving.
And sometimes your career path comes full circle. We have many alumni who leave for new experiences outside of Bain, only to return with new perspectives that help our clients and our firm to achieve great results.
Bain alumni are an extraordinarily diverse, talented and accomplished group. Learn about the achievements of some of our alumni through their personal stories.
Harlan Kent, President, CEO and Executive Director, The Yankee Candle Company
Harlan Kent found two enduring loves when he joined Bain after college in 1985. The primary one was his wife Patty, to whom he has been happily married for the past twenty-three years. The second was for working with popular consumer brands, a "huge revelation" that became apparent during his very first consulting assignment, Kent says.
During that assignment, which involved working at a textile plant that made sheets and towels for Laura Ashley, among other items, Kent says, "I realized that I was a very tactile person, that I liked to be able to touch the things I worked on." (He confesses that he was one of the few bachelor consultants who went so far as to purchase a Laura Ashley comforter for his bed at the time.) Since getting hooked on branded companies, Kent has worked for a remarkably wide range of top consumer labels. After leaving Bain in 1988, he championed products from Pepperidge Farm cookies, to Winchester bullets, to Isotoner gloves, until he joined premium candle maker Yankee Candle Company in 2001.
Cristina Betts, CFO of Iguatemi Empresa de Shopping Centers
São Paolo office
Cristina Betts is at the epicenter of one of the most explosive markets in the world: luxury retail in Brazil. As CFO of Iguatemi Empresa de Shopping Centers, the venerable owner and operator of 14 iconic malls in Brazil, Betts is tasked with the delicate balance of rapidly expanding her company into new territories while simultaneously building the right internal structures to keep the brand from losing its magic.
"If you walk into one of our malls and don't say 'wow!' about at least one aspect, something is wrong," says Betts, who joined Iguatemi shortly after its IPO in 2007.
Consistently getting to the "wow" factor, though, requires a hefty amount of behind-the-scenes work. In 2007, the then 25-year-old family-owned firm embarked upon a new phase of growth and transformation. Since then, the mall owner and operator, which brings in $180 million in revenue each year, has added six new properties to its original portfolio of eight, and is planning to build another four malls. That pace is translating into 30 percent annual revenue growth, and a laser focus on crystallizing the company culture to successfully support that growth.
Richard Folsom, Founder and Representative Partner, Advantage Partners
Twenty years ago, selling a business in Japan was a sign of failure. Whether the seller was a founder or a large corporation looking to divest a division, handing over the reins generally meant losing face with both peers and employees. The shame was so great, in fact, that the government, banks, and even business partners, would often step in to help prop up ailing businesses, rather than expose them to the fallout of a sale.
It was into this rocky soil that Bain alum Richard Folsom helped introduce the private equity model in 1997—a model that hinges on large volumes of selling and buying businesses. Now, after 15 years of persistence and persuasion, Folsom's firm, Advantage Partners, has a total of about US$4 billion under management, and is investing its fourth fund to bolster a portfolio that has included 38 acquisitions, 18 full exits and four partial exits over the years. That's amidst a swell of such transactions around the country by other firms that have joined Folsom's, as private equity has become more accepted in Japanese society. The number of private equity transactions in Japan has increased from 10 in 1999 to more than 50 in 2011, following even higher volumes in 2006 and 2007, according to the Japan Buy-Out Research Institute.
Mireia Llusia-Lindh, Roger Hakes, UK entrepreneur network
London office London office
Launching a network to help alumni start-ups
In 2010, despite the economic turbulence still rocking the global economy, Mireia Llusia-Lindh left her secure job as a manager in Bain's London office to join the ranks of other start-up founders and launch Milli Millu, a line of luxury handbags targeting professional women. She enjoyed the freedom and independence that came along with the entrepreneurial world, but missed the brainstorming sessions with colleagues and office resources such as IT support. This was eased when a former London colleague, Roger Hakes, spotted Llusia-Lindh's venture on Bain's LinkedIn site and reached out to her.
"I know how lonely it can be," recalls Roger, another London-based Bain manager-turned-entrepreneur. In 2009, the UK native left to found Kite Kids, an environmentally friendly children's clothing maker. Hakes offered Llusia-Lindh some hard-earned advice about how to best set up a pressing agent/distributor agreement. According to Llusia-Lindh, "It was fantastic to have someone [answer my questions] immediately."
Peter Hirschmann, CEO, Asian Operations of NEWAsurion
Hong Kong office
Peter Hirschmann was exactly what Bain wanted: a top college student with an impressive background. He moved to Hong Kong after graduating and helped found one of the first private equity companies investing in China. He joined Bain in 1996, and was a skilled senior associate consultant (SAC). Hirschmann thought he was on Bain's fast track, until his manager at the time, Mike Garstka, called him aside. Their conversation is chiseled in Hirschmann's memory some 20 years later.
Garstka told him that he was outspoken and risked coming across as arrogant to his clients. "My ego was my worst enemy," acknowledges Hirschmann, who is now CEO of the Asian operations of NEWAsurion, a mobile device protection business with more than 10,000 employees globally.
Hayley Barna, Founder and Co-CEO, Birchbox
New York office
In the two years since graduating from Harvard Business School, Hayley Barna has racked up impressive wins: founding the hot start-up Birchbox, scoring $11.9 million in venture capital funding, signing up 100,000 monthly paid subscribers (as of January) for its beauty sample boxes and recruiting almost 200 beauty brands to supply the samples.
The 28-year-old CEO chalks up these rapid successes to a mixture of genes (both of her parents are entrepreneurs), chance (her roommate was a beauty editor) and business savvy. A good chunk of that savvy grew out of Barna's three-year stint at Bain as a senior associate consultant, providing a business foundation and toolkit that the rookie CEO draws on daily to navigate the complex intersection of beauty retailing and Birchbox's novel e-commerce model.
Jean-Pierre Remy, CEO, Pages Juanes Groupe
Jean-Pierre Remy admits he's always been hooked on competition, even as a kid growing up in a small town nestled in wine country in the east of France. At the time, he didn't realize it was an essential character trait of entrepreneurs, but it's the reason he joined Bain. "I chose Bain because of its entrepreneurial spirit. They do things differently," he explains. It was the perfect boot camp for the young French consultant, hungry for global challenges. On his first day at Bain, he received a call from his boss. "Go directly to the airport," Jean-Pierre says he was ordered. "You're going to Saudi Arabia." It was baptism by Bain fire, teaching the future dotcom-er essential survival skills: think fast and adapt even faster.
Jeffrey Zients, Chief Performance Officer, Executive Office of the President of the U.S.
As a kid growing up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, Jeff Zients had never heard of business consultants. But when he was 10 years old, Zients hit on a repeatable model for success built on thorough research, patience and attention to detail. He took it to the next level after graduating from college with a political science degree and joining Bain as an Associate Consultant. He fell in love with Bain's culture, teamwork, well-rounded people and analytical rigor—ingredients he added to his model and that helped launch his own consulting career. Now Zients, 44, is using a remarkably similar version of that model to tame the sprawling federal bureaucracy as the US government's first chief performance officer and the deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
His business savvy took shape in the 1970s, when Zients would spend his Saturdays scouring the classifieds for hard-to-find Topps baseball cards that he purchased with money from his paper route. His attention to detail (he only bought cards in mint condition) and entrepreneurial instinct for value (he unearthed cards at every garage sale he could find) kept growing the collection's worth.
Janet Voûte, Partnerships Adviser, World Health Organization
Geneva, Paris, Zurich
Janet Voûte's challenge can be simply stated: Focus more of the world's health resources on stemming the tide of heart attacks, strokes, cancer, diabetes and respiratory diseases that cause 38 million deaths each year.
In her role at the World Health Organization, Voûte shines a spotlight on the death grip these noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) have on populations in developing countries, where funding to combat them is virtually nonexistent. According to Voûte, NCDs are responsible for 60 percent of all global deaths, with 80 percent of those deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. "If you look at any estimate of the health overseas development commitment, only 1 to 2 percent goes to noncommunicable diseases," says Voûte, partnerships adviser to WHO's assistant director-general of Noncommuicable Diseases and Mental Health. "There's a mismatch between the disease burden and overseas funding."
Derek Ferguson, CFO, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment
In the annals of relationships between CEOs and their chief financial officers, hip-hop mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and Derek Ferguson may break the mold. They have wedded the celebrity icon's uncanny instincts with Ferguson's data-driven business strategies to grow Bad Boy World Entertainment into an estimated $300 million, multifaceted hip-hop empire. But in a universe better known for sex and violence than faith, Ferguson has Combs' blessing to follow his passion and lead weekly Bible study sessions at Bad Boy.
In 1999, the former Bain manager joined Bad Boy as the financial guru to the impresario credited with turning hip hop into a lifestyle. Within a year, Ferguson found himself increasingly conflicted about the impact of Bad Boy's lucrative products on society and his own religious convictions. Instead of walking away, he decided to become more public about his faith and champion Bible study groups, ministries for the unemployed and showcases for budding Christian hip hop artists. "Once I made that choice, it helped me figure out my place in the entertainment world... I'm surprised I got away with it," admits Ferguson.
Nagi Hamiyeh, Managing Director of Investments, Temasek Holdings
Paris and Singapore
If not for the prolonged civil war in Lebanon, Nagi Hamiyeh may never have left his hometown to study in the United States, and ultimately join the Paris office of Bain in 1994. In 1996, he asked Bain for a transfer from Paris to its Singapore office. The associate consultant, a Lebanese native, wanted something different from Europe and the Middle East, where his family had repeatedly sought refuge from the turmoil at home. Following his departure from Bain, Hamiyeh remained in Singapore to pursue a career in the investment world. Today he is the managing director in charge of Natural Resources for Temasek Holdings, a Singapore-based investment company, which has a diversified US$172 billion (as of 31 July 2009), or more than US$120 billion portfolio.
Jon Wright, Co-founder and COO, Innocent Drinks
Who knew that the odd-tasting onion-juice smoothies passed around in 1998 by Jon Wright, a young consultant in Bain's London office, would help pave the way for Innocent Drinks, the British natural smoothie phenomenon that recently won a €30 million stake from Coca-Cola? Given the recession and wary investors, the Coke deal was a major coup.
During Innocent's 10-year journey from niche smoothie maker to a national brand with a cult-like following, the eco-friendly business has repeatedly triumphed over obstacles and missteps that kill so many entrepreneurial ventures—like those early recipes. "Someone told us that onion juice didn't taste so bad," recalls Wright during a call from Fruit Towers, Innocent's headquarters in London.
Lucas Carné Carcas, Co-founder, Privalia
Chicago and Madrid
As co-founder of Privalia, a three-year-old online "shopping mall" for trendy fashion-wear and sports apparel, Lucas Carné Carcas has seen this innovative Spanish-based business flourish and spread, with new virtual outposts and markets in Italy and Brazil.
"Bain was really the best school I could have gone to for becoming an entrepreneur and CEO," the former Madrid manager says. "When you spend enough time at Bain, you come away with not only the analytical skills to run a business, but the perspective of a general manager. Bain training provides skills in focus, priority-setting, decision-making and simply making up your mind quickly."
Katie Hood, Former CEO, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
New York office
As Katie Hood (then Higgins) neared the end of her first year at Bain New York, she felt restless even though her job had many elements she enjoyed. "My work at Bain combined everything I like: solving a problem, figuring out a plan, bringing it to life—and doing that with great people," Hood says. "But in the aftermath of September 11, the innate desire I had to have a career focused on making a broader positive effect on the world was stronger than ever."
And so Hood called a mentor from her prior days as an analyst at Goldman Sachs who probed her state of mind and then suggested she contact Debi Brooks, another former Goldman employee who had just launched The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) with the famous screen actor.
Paul Rosenberg, Partner, The Bridgespan Group
Paul Rosenberg has spent his career moving in and out of three worlds—business, government, and social action. After 11 years as a partner at Bain, Rosenberg found a way to marry those worlds: In September, he became a partner at Bridgespan, the nonprofit arm of Bain, founded in 2000 to create social change by teaming with nonprofit organizations. By employing the analytical skills that have grown companies into industry leaders, Rosenberg is helping nonprofits tackle some of society's most complex problems. "Bridgespan gives me an opportunity to apply the Bain toolkit to all kinds of social issues—working with disadvantaged populations, environmental issues, and education in the United States—three main focuses of Bridgespan," says Rosenberg.
Andy Dunn and Brian Spaly, CEO (Andy) and Designer (Brian), Bonobos Pants
Chicago (Andy) and San
Francisco (Brian) offices
From the day they arrived at Bain in the summer of 2000, associate consultants Andy Dunn and Brian Spaly were on a collision course. It would take five more years before they'd meet. Both did nonprofit work at Bain—Spaly with Bridgespan in San Francisco, and Dunn initiating a pro bono case with a domestic violence shelter in Chicago. Both eventually migrated to private equity firms after Bain, and both were subsequently accepted to Stanford's business school. At the insistence of mutual friends and former Bainies, Geoff Lieberthal and Jim Kunihiro, they met in 2005 and decided to room together during grad school.