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Case study

Transformation sparks financial leader's turnaround

Encumbered by high costs and an overextended business model, a well-established financial services company faced declining customer loyalty amid fierce competition. Bain worked with company leadership on a multi-year transformation that cut costs by more than $500 million, redefined the firm's strategy and helped it win the loyalty of both core and new customers. As a result the company regained its financial footing and saw its stock price skyrocket.

  • min read

At a Glance

  • $500M reduced operational costs
  • 50 pt increase in NPS®
  • 250% increased revenue growth
  • 100% increased stock price

The Story


In an effort to expand into new markets, FinancialCo* had lost sight of the customer segments that its business model could best serve. As a result, the company failed to innovate where it mattered most and found itself losing business to market leaders with better service and newcomers with better technology. When the economy hit a downturn, this lack of focus translated into a market cap decline of more than 75%.

FinancialCo's point of departure was a relatively strong one, thanks to its robust brand and solid capital structure, but aggressive competition heightened the urgency surrounding the transformation. Management needed to work on multiple fronts to right-size the company's infrastructure while boosting sales and customer service to regain market share.


Working with Bain, FinancialCo's management team decided to make much-needed operational changes in parallel with longer-term strategic shifts involving the sale of one business unit and new directions for the remaining two.

  • Step one: Make operational cost cuts that create quick wins and freed up cash flow.
  • Step two: Roll out a new set of customer-facing initiatives designed to improve customer loyalty as measured through Net Promoter® scores.
  • Step three: Realign the organization around a new strategy.



To refresh the strategy, our transformation consultants helped the company redefine its core business and, accordingly, prepare one business unit for sale. A new CEO helped focus the firm on cost management and also organized the effort by appointing a Chief Transformation Officer to lead the way.

To reduce costs, the company identified fast ways to streamline IT and shrink its real estate footprint that erased 15% of its initial costs. It also reduced its advertising sharply.

To renew the focus on customers, FinancialCo began closely tracking customer loyalty, an exercise which helped it identify new customer segments to target as well as new steps to take with existing customers.

It then realigned the organization to work within the new cost base and serve customers better.


Within five years, FinancialCo regained its footing as the full results of the transformation took hold:

  • More than $500 million in reduced operational costs
  • A 50-point increase in NPS (customer loyalty scores) among both existing and new customers
  • Revenues grew 250%
  • Stock price rose 100%


* We take our clients' confidentiality seriously. While we've changed their names, the results are real.

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Net Promoter®, NPS®, NPS Prism®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks and Net Promoter Score℠ and Net Promoter System℠ are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.