Founded in 1973 by former Boston Consulting Group vice president William H. Bain, Jr., Bain & Co., based in Boston, has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto and San Francisco. After experiencing a serious crisis in the 1980s and 1990s, Bain rebounded under the leadership of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (who had previously worked with Bain Capital, a separate company) and Orit Gadiesh, one of the few women to head a top consulting firm. It had revenues of $1.6 billion and over 4,000 employees in 2007. Bain's public sector practice is difficult to map due to its strict confidentiality policy on clients and its practice of not separating business and government consulting. However, it has conducted extensive work in Atlanta on a pro bono basis, including in depth budget studies, and presented a "turnaround plan" to the city in July 2002.
Included in the Bain & Co. report was the claim that Atlanta spent "2 to 4% more per capita for the same types of services" than other cities, possibly because of, among other factors, Atlanta's failure to practice "outsourcing and privatization. Atlanta has not undertaken significant outsourcing or privatization of some central services functions such as information technology and motor transport services. With less outsourcing, Atlanta may have personnel on its payroll that are not on the payrolls of other cities."
Mayor Franklin "aggressively implemented the Turnaround Plan" and "the vast majority of Bain's recommendations." "When Bain & Company did their benchmarking study," Franklin wrote to a taxpayer group in February 2007, "the city had 1,346 general fund employees per 100,000 population. In 2007 we have 1,178 per 100,000. That is more than a 12% reduction in employees per capita."
Using the pro bono model again to drive an arguably ideological agenda, in February 2004 Bain prepared the California Competitiveness Project report for the California Business Roundtable. The CBR then used the report to press for wide ranging cuts in workers compensation, overtime and paid family leave provisions. In 2007 the Public Policy Institute of California released a report debunking the Bain-CBR report as "based in part on anecdotal or limited survey evidence."