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Bain & Company Statement: SARS Commission of Inquiry

10 September 2018 - Bain & Company prides itself on helping our clients achieve sustainable results. Our work on the organization structure at SARS did not achieve this and we are deeply troubled by the pain suffered by employees of SARS and their families.

To understand what happened, we launched an independent investigation led by the global law firm Baker McKenzie. The investigation is focusing on understanding the facts relating to people, processes, and governance that resulted in us getting and accepting the work.

Our own internal review established that our engagement with SARS did not meet our standards for delivery of sustainable, positive results for our client. We do not want to benefit from work that was used to further a different agenda than was intended.

Bain & Company’s global Board yesterday approved to set aside all of the R164M of fees plus interest, from our work with SARS. This money will be used either as prescribed by the Nugent Commission of Inquiry or – in the absence of such prescription – for the benefit of South Africa. In the latter instance, we will seek guidance from civil society, government, and business leaders on how these funds can best be used.

We continue to cooperate voluntarily with the Nugent Commission of Inquiry. Tiaan Moolman, a long serving member of the Bain partnership, will take over day to day operations of Bain South Africa to allow Vittorio Massone to focus his time on cooperating with the Commission. He remains a partner of Bain & Company.

To reinforce the independence of the investigation and Bain’s commitment to addressing any new facts, we have established an oversight committee made up of senior global Bain partners and outside directors. Athol Williams, a Bain alumnus and a respected independent advisor, will chair this committee on an interim basis. He is a distinguished academic in the area of corporate responsibility, a corporate leader and lifelong social advocate. Bain’s contract with Mr Williams calls for him to do what is right for South Africa, without restrictions.

Bain continues to be committed to our people, our clients and to South Africa. We are actively exploring additional ways to be part of the solution to creating prosperity in the country. We will be seeking guidance from multiple stakeholders in this process.

While external stakeholders and Bain leadership await the outcome of the independent investigation, we acknowledge that the desire for answers will continue to build. Please be patient with us as we take the necessary steps to answer questions raised.