Edward Conard, a former Bain Managing Director at Bain Capital, said that a "management committee" ran Bain Capital after Mitt Romney left the company in 1999, and that Romney's departure took time to finalize because of complex negotiations surrounding his retirement in an interview on MSNBC's "Up With Chris Hayes."
"It was a management committee running Bain, to try to transition from Mitt to a new structure," Conard said Sunday.
"It took several years for us to sort out how to put the management team in place—there was a management team in place already—but for example we had to negotiate with Mitt because he was an owner of the firm, he'd created a lot of franchise value, and we were going to pay him for that," said Conard. "We had to recognize that other partners would leave, senior partners would leave over time; that whatever we did for him was going to be reflected in what we did for everyone else who left the firm. And we had a very complicated set of negotiations that took us about two years to unwind."
Conard also confirmed that Romney was absent from Bain between 1999 and 2002 even though his name remained on SEC filings. "It was ten years ago, so can I remember every single meeting? No," he said. "But I remember that Mitt was gone. We had a management team that was working hard to manage the company. We had to negotiate the terms of Mitt's departure, and in fact everybody's departure at that time, and it was difficult to get any time for Mitt to even get him and his attorneys to do that, because he was so busy working on the Olympics."
As Romney senior adviser Ed Gillespie put it on CNN's "State of the Union," Romney "retired retroactively" from Bain Capital.