Romney and the ‘deal junkies’

US presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s success in building Bain Capital was due more to a talent for hiring and organizing smart, aggressive deal doers than to his own investment prowess, according to sources interviewed by Private Equity International magazine.

Mitt Romney, the former head of Bain Capital who is now making a run for the White House, presided paterfamilias-like over a team of notably aggressive and ambitious investment professionals during his years at the helm of the Boston private investment firm.

Mitt Romney:

According to people interviewed for an investigative feature in sister publication Private Equity International, Romney was “not a deal junkie. . . Over time there were plenty of deal junkies at Bain Capital. Mitt became a manager of deal junkies.”

The co-founder of Bain Capital, who started as a star consultant at Bain & Co., paid less attention to the details of particular deals than he did to the processes of his firm and the people he hired to execute them, sources told Private Equity International.

When he left Bain Capital in 1999 to run the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, the firm had a stellar track record, averaging a roughly 100 percent IRR per deal. There was initially some concern among limited partners at the time that the firm built by Romney would come unhinged in his absence.

A complete version of Private Equity International’s feature on Mitt Romney can be downloaded here: