You’ll Never Guess Who Profits from Bain Capital



A huge irony was revealed at the end of the 2012 presidential campaign. By way of explanation, Mitt Romney had long been attacked as a rapacious, money-grubbing founder of Bain Capital.

Attendees and speakers at the 2012 Democratic National Convention equated Mr. Romney and his Bain colleagues as cruel, corrupt capitalists.

The vocal Democratic base tried to have us to believe that Mr. Romney would do anything to make an all-mighty dollar at the expense of American workers. They implied that no one since Al Capone has been as been as mean-spirited as the Bain capitalists.

Oh, such disingenuous claims by Mr. Romney’s political opponents.

It now turns out that countless Democrats have used Bain Capital for their personal gains – including many public employee unions – first responders, public-health workers, social workers, and teachers.

Their retirement systems have consigned $1.56 billion to Bain since 2000.

We learn all the insidious details from a study by a global research firm, Prequin, according to a news report, “Look who parks their cash at Bain | New York Post,” on Sept. 1, 2012. Researching private-equity holdings is a specialty of Preqin.

Reporter Deroy Murdock explains how Preqin collected the astonishing information – from Freedom of Information requests, news reports and public documents.

He says Bain has created wealth for numerous public-employee retirement funds:

— Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund ($2.2 million)

— Indiana Public Retirement System ($39.3 million)

— Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System ($177.1 million)

— The Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension System ($19.5 million)

— Maryland State Retirement and Pension System ($117.5 million)

— Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada ($20.3 million)

— State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio ($767.3 million)

— Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System ($231.5 million)

— Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island ($25 million)

— San Diego County Employees Retirement Association ($23.5 million)

— Teacher Retirement System of Texas ($122.5 million)

— Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System ($15 million)

Bain benefits universities, too

In citing data from Infrastructure Investor, BuyOuts magazine and S&P Capital IQ, Mr. Murdock provides more eye-opening information. He indicates that many bastions of liberal intellectuals also benefit from Bain.

Institutions of higher learning – from the University of California to the University of Washington – have entrusted $424.6 million with the firm from 1998 to 2008.

For example:

  • Purdue University ($15.9 million)
  • University of California ($225.7 million)
  • University of Michigan ($130 million)
  • University of Virginia ($20 million)
  • University of Washington ($33 million)

Others include: Cornell, Emory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Notre Dame, University of Pittsburgh, Columbia, Princeton and Yale universities.

More Bain success stories

“Major, center-left foundations and cultural establishments also have seen their prospects brighten, thanks to Bain Capital. According to the aforementioned sources, such Bain clients have included the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Doris Duke Foundation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Ford Foundation, the Heinz Endowments and the Oprah Winfrey Foundation,” writes Mr. Murdock.

So, he asks this salient question: “Why on Earth would government-union leaders, university presidents and foundation chiefs let Bain oversee their precious assets?”

He cites the explanation from a spokesman for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System:

“The scrutiny generated by a heated election year matters less than the performance the portfolio generates to the fund,” California State Teachers’ Retirement System spokesman Ricardo Duran said in the Aug. 12 Boston Globe. CalSTRS has pumped some $1.25 billion into Bain. Since 1988, Duran says, private-equity companies like Bain have outperformed every other asset class to which CalSTRS has allocated the cash of its 856,360 largely unionized members.”

So it turns out Mr. Obama’s opponents have been misleading us – from public-employees unions to union bosses – all while their deep pockets have been enriched by the savvy oversight of the firm founded by Mr. Romney. Obviously, he’s got an outstanding track record in creating wealth and prosperity.

As for his political opponents: Where’s their moral compass? It’s probably under all their piles of money — thanks to Bain Capital.

From the Coach’s Corner, recommended reading:

“Politics have no relation to morals.”
-Niccolo Machiavelli

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.


Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.