Paul Calthrop

Category: 1970s /  All Harkness Stories /  Economics, Finance & Business / 

Paul Calthrop (HF 1977-79) : Paul retired as a director of Bain & Company, management consultants, in 2012. He joined them in 1979 from Stanford Graduate School of Business where, thanks to the generosity of the Harkness Foundation, he had completed a Masters in Business Administration. Prior to Stanford, Paul had qualified as a chartered accountant in London. This was the time of the miners’ strike, three day week, pay freeze, and IMF rescue of sterling, which all helped persuade Paul of the importance of strategic thinking as applied to businesses and economies.  At Stanford he became aware of the then-emerging field of business strategy.  He joined Bain and worked directly with the founders. There were fifty people in the firm when he started; approximately ten thousand when he retired. His work took him from Boston to London to Sydney to Zurich to Melbourne and his clients took him all over the world.  Paul, acting in a personal capacity with several Bain partners, created Workplace Giving Australia, which to date has raised more than $250M of new funding for social organisations.  He also helped create the Centre for Social Impact, a university research organisation focused on raising community capacity. Paul left Bain for a period to work in private equity, but returned, having proven to himself that he did not enjoy the process of buying and selling businesses. He and his wife, Susan, now live in Queensland, Australia, where Paul would be happy if he never saw the inside of another plane.