BAIN & COMPANY
Bain & Company moves into 2013 well-positioned for success after a very strong year in 2012
marked by strong double-digit growth. In spite of continued macroeconomic uncertainty, we
have continued to invest in people, priority regions, practice areas, and intellectual property.
There were no major elements of surprise, except maybe the continued strong momentum of
our activity for private equity funds, in what remained a fairly depressed deal market environment. Additionally, the level of growth in our three regions (Americas, Asia-Pacific, and EMEA)
was above what we had expected for the year.
Caution Signs Ahead
We certainly see clear signs of an increased level of
caution at our clients in a number of geographies
where the economic outlook for 2013 remains uncertain. For example, this is the
case in most of the Eurozone,
where clients can sometimes take
longer to make decisions on consulting projects, postpone start
dates, and show increased price
sensitivity. But even in these markets, we don’t see the dramatic
pull-back or the consulting freezes
that we saw in the 2009 recession.
We’re seeing what we expected to
see: a shift in the nature of our
clients’ demand for more per-formance-oriented projects.
If we take a longer-term perspective, we remain extremely
bullish about the growth potential
for strategy consulting. Corporate
earnings, which are an important
driver of demand in our sector,
have been much more volatile, but
stand at high levels. And balance
sheets are robust after a period of
significant deleveraging. More importantly, clients
will continue to demand innovative solutions in a
world of accelerated global changes.
EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST
The Geo Perspective
The global economy will continue to be chal-
lenged, and levels of uncertainty will remain high.
In the U.S., there will be a pullback of govern-
ment spending. The Eurozone is likely to remain
in a no growth, or even recessionary environment,
and it will take time before structural reforms ini-
tiated start to have an impact. China will continue
on its path of economic transformation from ex-
port-led growth to one where domestic consump-
tion is a more significant driver. In this context,
we expect our growth to remain sustained in just
about all industry sectors, even though there will
be less traction from emerging geographies than
in 2012. Obviously, a real double dip in Europe
would have a global impact.
Opportunities in New Markets
Our biggest opportunities in 2013 will likely be
coming from some of the recent investments we
have made in our geographical footprint, industry
practice areas, and innovative client solutions.
We expect significant growth as we continue to
expand into new markets to support growing
demand for our services, such as Poland, Turkey,
Indonesia and the Washington, D.C. region. We’ve
also invested in developing new industry practice
areas at Bain, such as the Global Oil & Gas Practice,
which should continue experiencing strong growth,
as we develop our teams and ability to serve clients
globally. Finally, over the past few years, we have
continued to increase our levels of investment in IP
to develop innovative solutions that will help our
clients navigate complex challenges.
Turbulence and Uncertainty Remain
Continued turbulence and uncertainty in the global
economy will remain to be the main source of challenges for our clients in all regions. Our main challenge, as it is every year, will be to continue to
surpass ourselves in delivering to our clients the enduring results and change capability that they need.
We are confident that the strength of our results culture, and the quality, and passion of our teams will
allow us to achieve this once again in 2013.
January 2013 Consulting