Sars Inquiry: Bain's managing partner steps down from day-to-day operations

By Sizwe Dlamini Time of article published Sep 9, 2018

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CAPE TOWN – Bain & Company has announced that its managing partner Vittorio Massone has stepped down from day-to-day operations and Tiaan Moolman – a long-serving member of the Bain partnership – will step in to run the South African operations in the interim.

Massone, left the Nugent Commission of Inquiry in shock on Friday after he revealed that he met with suspended SA Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane to discuss the institution a year before he became commissioner. 

Massone told the commission that meeting Moyane before he was appointed as commissioner was not unusual because he believed Moyane had ambitions to be head of Sars. 

Bain’s global board also approved to set aside all of the R164 million of fees plus VAT and interest, from its work with the SA Revenue Service (Sars), the company said in a statement on Sunday. 

The global management consultancy said this money would be used either as prescribed by the Nugent Commission of Inquiry or – in the absence of such prescription – for the benefit of South Africa. “In the latter instance, we will seek guidance from business, government and civil society leaders on how these funds can best be used.”

Bain said it prided itself on helping clients achieve sustainable results and admitted that its work on the organisation structure at Sars did not achieve this and “we are deeply troubled by the pain suffered by employees of Sars and their families”.

“To understand what happened, we launched an independent investigation led by the global law firm Baker McKenzie. The investigation is focusing on understanding the facts relating to people, processes, and governance that resulted in us getting and accepting the work,” the company said.

Bain’s model has come under fire for fracturing pivotal units including the ability to measure compliance and the capability to deal with illicit financial flows and high-profile investigations.

“We have learned in the first week of the investigation that our engagement with Sars fell short of our operating principles. In addition, we do not want to benefit from work that was used to further a different agenda than was intended. 

“To reinforce the independence of the investigation and Bain’s commitment to addressing any new facts, we have established an oversight committee made up of senior global Bain partners. 

“Athol Williams, a Bain alumnus and a respected independent advisor, will chair this committee on an interim basis. He is a distinguished academic in the areas of corporate responsibility, a corporate leader, and lifelong social advocate. Bain’s contract with Mr Williams calls for him to do what is right for South Africa, without restrictions,” the company said in the statement.

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