Bain appoints an African Oversight Board to ensure risk-free operations

01 July 2019 2 min. read
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Following a turbulent period of significant reputational damage in the South African market, Bain & Company has appointed a new African Oversight Board to assess the risks behind its projects. The global management consultancy has appointed Norman Mbazima as Chairman of the new board.

Mbazimba is joined by Athol Williams, who joins the firm to manage a remedy plan going forward. The new appointments come after the consulting firm was caught up in a failed project with the South African Revenue Services, which generated substantial backlash for the firm.

The new remedy plan is based on three main pillars. The first is to make up for the damage caused by the company. As a result, the firm is looking to make amends with SARS as an organisation and its affiliated employees. The firm is also looking to reconcile with its own employees and other clients in South Africa.

Bain appoints an African Oversight Board to ensure risk-free operations

The second pillar is to improve its corporate responsibility profile, so much so that it becomes a leader in the South African market in this regard. Closely linked to this pillar is the third pillar, which involves ensuring that stringent measures are taken to prevent similar errors in the future.

Mbazimba said of the new plan, “Bain has learnt the lessons from what happened with SARS and implemented significant remedial steps. I have great confidence in the quality of the firm and its people, and believe Bain can make a significant, positive contribution to the South African business community and society more generally. We will benefit from having a healthy Bain working in South Africa, and I look forward to working with the other members of the Board to help guide the firm’s future.” 

Williams said, “Leveraging the insights gained from my previous work as well as my expertise in corporate governance and corporate responsibility, over the past five months I have worked closely with the new leadership team to formulate a remedy plan that goes beyond the measures already announced by the firm.”

John Senior, Managing Partner at Bain Africa said, “Bain & Company is committed to ensuring that we do what it takes to regain South Africa’s trust. We want to be regarded as responsible corporate citizens and understand that we need to make amends for our role at SARS and face the consequences of our errors. The appointments of Norman and Athol are an indication of our commitment to this.”