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Bain letter hints firm is glad scrutiny is over

A 1990 picture of Mitt Romney and William Bain Jr.

the boston globe

A 1990 picture of Mitt Romney and William Bain Jr.

Bain Capital’s founder did not win the presidential election this week, but in a letter to investors Thursday the firm seemed relieved that the campaign — and the scrutiny — was over.

The Boston investment firm’s managing directors thanked investors for their “support and patience” over the past year, hinting at the barrage of news stories and political advertising targeting Bain. “The political hyperbole and distortion that accompanies modern politics, while disappointing, did not change our longstanding, differentiated approach to investing for growth,’’ the letter said.

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The managing directors said they knew when Mitt Romney joined the race his business record would be a campaign topic, even though he left the firm permanently a decade earlier. Members of the firm made a conscious decision “not to engage in debates with either campaign,’’ they said. In the letter, the directors said the firm chose to correct the record at times, but refused “to be drawn into the give-and-take of the political season.”

Bain’s partners were among Romney’s largest campaign donors. A few were major supporters of President Obama. But in the letter, the directors sought to distance the firm from politics, saying, “We started the election season as a nonpartisan company, and we remain so today.”

Bain invests in multibillion-dollar buyout deals and venture capital on behalf of clients that include pension funds, foundations, and endowments.

It is unclear whether a Romney presidency would have driven new business to Bain — perhaps in the form of more dollars from overseas — or if it would have kept the spotlight on a firm that prefers to operate quietly.

If there was disappointment over their former boss’s loss, Bain didn’t betray it Thursday. “All of us congratulate each candidate for a hard-fought campaign,’’ the managing directors said in their letter.

Beth Healy can be reached at
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