Is Monitor Company passing the buck to Bain & Company?
Earlier today we posted a report about Monitor company. In that post we profiled a pretty bad study Monitor performed for Debswana, a mining company in Botswana. We were emailed this study by a reader who says that Monitor was called in to fix the “debacle that was Bain’s 2001 study.” That’s a direct quote from the email.
Before you blame monitor, have a look at the problem they fixed: the debacle that was bains 2001 study.
I think Monitor did welll given the circumstances”
We never give names or email address without the readers consent, but I think the person sending through the Bain study is probably a Monitor consultant trying the defend the firm. Here’s why:
- I think this because the time frame between 2001 and 2005 is a long time in management consulting years. It is really unlikely that the Monitor study was a response to the Bain study. They are 5 years apart. Surely the Debswana management would have seen much earlier if the Bain recommendations were working. In 5 years, management titles change, executives move and so one. Therefore it is unlikely someone picked up the Bain report 5 years later, highlighted this as poor work and appointed Monitor company. In management consulting that just does not happen. So it’s unlikely this happened. The Debswana website is down so we could not check if management had changed in 5 years but it is very likely. We left messages at headoffice and a lovely lady called Joyce mentioned the offices are closed for the weekend.
- We also dug around and learnt that Debswana is a joint-venture between De Beers and the Botswana government. Even though the homepage for Debswana is down, the other pages are up. Here is profile of the board and as you can see, De Beers executives sit on the board. Why is this important? We also learn that around 2005/6 Bain & Company was appointed by De Beers to revamp their strategy. The CEO of De Beers also appears on Bain’s website. So it is likely that Bain could not do the work at Debswana because they were conflicted. If they were restructuring the way De Beers sourced diamonds this affects the Debswana relationship since Debswana is a source for diamonds. So they could not be involved at all.
- The third reason is that the report is not so bad. Sure, it leaves out the analyses, but it reads well and seems to make sense. Although the formatting is rather atrocious (what’s up with that Bainies?)
While it may not be a Monitor person sending in the report, I see no one else likely to benefit from doing this. You judge based on the facts above and the report.