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What do you do in PE practice at Bain?

Anonymous A asked on Feb 18, 2018 - 3 answers

Bain is famous for its PE practice but does anyone know if it’s mostly due diligence projects or do they actually also often work on different projects for PE like value creation plans for the portfolio companies?

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replied on Feb 18, 2018
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To make sure there are no misunderstanding, there is an important distinction to answer this question. Bain PE practice is a different thing than Bain Capital and the path to move from the former to the latter, while present, is hard (like any exit from consulting to large PE - unless you move into portfolio operations).

That said Bain PE practice does both commerical due diligences and vendor due diligences for Bain Capital (and other PEs) and also helps them with strategic and turnaround plans for portfolio companies. Project mix (in terms of number of projects, not in terms of $ revenue from projects for the firm) is skewed towards the former (50 - 60%) as PE firms usually have their portfolio team that either directly operates or sits on the board of their portfolio companies.

Hope it helps,


updated his answer on Feb 18, 2018
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It greatly depends on the country:

  1. In most of the countries, Bain does the DDs for Bain Capital. However, nearly 30% of DDs are performed by other companies like McKinsey
  2. They work on the PE projects (mainly transformations) in the countries where Bain Cap invests. You can find the detailed statistics on their investments and geographies in the Bain Cap reports.



replied on Feb 20, 2018
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As a former member of one of the Bain & Company private equity practices, I'd like to clarify some things from the previous comments.

A (small) majority of Bain's private equity work is indeed in doing Commercial Due Diligence work for PE firms, sometimes more than one independent team for a single potential deal given the competitiveness of deals nowadays. Bain will almost never do a Vendor Due Diligence because there is little incentive for sellers to pay a premium for an extra insightful product - these will usually come from a Big 4 firm or a more niche company like LEK or OC&C, depending on the market. Bain claim 3-4x market leadership here in $200M+ deals, though their competitors disagree.

Bain also does a significant amount of portfolio work for private equity firms (and a small amount of PE strategy/ operations). A typical piece of work would be creating a 100 day plan for a portfolio company recently after its acquisition. This is also a huge part of Bain's business and for me one of the most interesting.

A significant portion (up to 30% in some markets) of Bain alumni move into private equity. Bain Capital obviously has special links with Bain & Company (particularly its portfolio team), but the vast majority of both Bain & Company's PE work and the exit paths are to other mainly Tier I or Tier II PE firms.

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