Deval Patrick gains with Bain

Deval Patrick never made any secret of his desire to return to the private sector after leaving the governor’s office. After toe dipping in academia at MIT and a false start at Boston 2024, his next move was destined to make everyone sit up and take notice. But few probably expected to see headlines like the Boston Business Journal‘s “Hey Deval, it’s me Mitt. Nice move.”

Patrick finally crash-landed at Bain Capital, the Mitt Romney-founded private equity firm. Bain’s newest managing director told the Boston Globe that he plans to steward investments designed to address social challenges in health, the environment, energy, education, and community development.

Social impact bonds are gaining ground as an investment tool that allows individuals or companies to back programs whose success can be tracked and profits measured against.

It’s a growth area that Patrick is well positioned to take charge of. As governor, Patrick spearheaded the use of social impact bonds in Massachusetts in two areas: homelessness and juvenile justice.

Shortly before leaving office in December, Patrick announced a “Pay for Success” program to create 500 units of housing for chronically homeless people over a six-year period. WBUR reported that the program relied on funding from Santander Bank, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, and the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.

In January of last year, Patrick launched a $27 million program to reduce the incarceration rates of juvenile offenders. In a 2012 report on the Massachusetts plan, the progressive Center for American Progress, a Washington-based think tank, counselled caution, noting that “while the state has begun to define the population that it intends to target, it has not yet determined the outcomes that need to be achieved.”

The center’s FAQ on social impact bonds explains that the bonds are complex investment tools that raise a number of questions about how they actually work, including who chooses the required outcomes, and how they are set. How does the government decide what it will pay for a successful outcome? Who are the investors?

With state and local governments unable to rely exclusively on tax revenues to finance many social programs, social impact bonds have the potential to bridge the gap between the limited investment the public sector can make and firms or individuals with deep pockets who want to make a profit along with making a difference.

Clearly, Patrick aims to do just that. “This is a chance to have real meaning and mission in my work,” Patrick told the Globe.

Social consciousness predicated on profit is something that some Massachusetts progressives, who saw Patrick as their champion on Beacon Hill, will likely look askance at, and they’ll likely pepper Patrick with some FAQs of their own. Ending up in at venture capital firm founded by Mitt Romney is not the stuff that Democratic presidential resumes are made of- if that’s indeed where Patrick is headed.

Meanwhile, every agreement the former governor is involved in will be dissected for its alignment with that presumed goal and, more importantly, whether those agreements deliver for targeted populations like the homeless or juvenile offenders.

Patrick confessed as much to the Globe, “I’ve spent most of my career in the private sector. I know that there are deals that go really well and deals that don’t go so well.”




CommonWealth examines what really happened at the Probation Department’s Electronic Monitoring Office — and also uncovers a potential ethical breach involving a state senator.

A Beacon Hill showdown is looming, possibly today, over rules governing the legislative process. (CommonWealth)

After 100 days in office, Gov. Charlie Baker gets high marks from three top Democrats on Beacon Hill, Senate President Stan Rosenberg, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, and Attorney General Maura Healey. (Boston Herald)

It wasn’t easy, but Globe columnist Tom Farragher gets Treasurer Deb Goldberg to express a tad of remorse over how she handled the job search of young woman seeking a position in the treasurer’s office who was at the time working for a small nonprofit whose board Goldberg chaired.

As lawmakers ponder the future of the state’s film tax credit, crowds of people converged on Washington Square in Haverhill to get a glimpse of Jennifer Lawrence, who was in town filming a movie. Between the police and the barricades, however, it was hard to get a look. (Eagle-Tribune)

The Telegram & Gazette editorializes against a new law requiring drivers to turn on their lights whenever their wipers are in use.


Many communities are expected to see a population increase over the next decade, but the population overall is aging, which poses challenges for government officials. (Salem News)

Ayes and neighs: Cathy Richardson steps down as chair of the Board of Selectmen in Dracut following protests over her failure to adequately care for her horses during the winter. (Lowell Sun)


Today is the two-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings and Keller@Largesays since the tragedy, it seems every day is One Boston Day.


A group of tax experts is pushing the IRS to develop its own tax calculation software to reduce the time, cost, and complexity of filing returns, an effort being blocked by Intuit, the largest private tax preparation software firm. (New York Times)


Hillary Clinton‘s email mess from her time at the State Department is just the headache John Kerry didn’t want to have to deal with as he tries to solve actual world problems, often on too little sleep, writes the Globe‘s Matt Viser.

The state’s longest serving mayor, Michael McGlynn, will not run for reelection this year after 28 years on the job in Medford. (Boston Globe)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, stumping in New Hampshire, gets specific in calling for reining in the cost of such entitlement programs as Social Security and Medicare. (Governing)

Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch says he will seek a fifth term, the first four-year term under a new law passed by voters. (Patriot Ledger)


The new issue of CommonWealth takes a look at a federal program that essentially lets foreign investors buy green cards for themselves and their families for $500,000. A day after the CommonWealth story is published, the Globe has a front-page story on the same topic, which spotlights and quotes some of the same people.

No fewer than eight developers are vying to erect a huge tower in Winthrop Square in Boston. (Boston Globe)

It’s a good time to be the leading developer in Kendall Square, and Alexandria Real Estate Equities knows it. (Boston Globe)

The European Union has charged Google with violating the compact’s antitrust laws in its Android phone software. (New York Times)

The snake-bitten Southfield mixed-use redevelopment project at the former South Weymouth naval air base has been sold once again, this time to a North Carolina developer. (Patriot Ledger)


CommonWealth‘s Spring issue takes a deep dive on the state’s use of new authorities granted in a 2010 reform law to take over failing school districts. Lawrence was first. Holyoke may be next. Meanwhile, Springfield school leaders have developed a creative plan that avoids a full state takeover, but will bring many of the same reforms to a swath of its middle schools.

The East Bridgewater School Committee has let the schools superintendent go as the system struggles to close a $2.2 million budget gap, the third year in a row they have ended with a deficit. (The Enterprise)

A judge in Atlanta comes down hard on educators involved in a cheating scandal. (Governing)


The Senate follows the House lead and passes a sweeping, bipartisan reform of the Medicare payment system. (Boston Globe) John McDonough framed the changes earlier this week in CommonWealth, arguing they are a good thing but don’t signal any breakthrough in the gridlock otherwise plaguing Congress.

A misfiring immune system may cause Alzheimer’s disease. (Time)


Lawmakers are raising questions about the data underpinning the report on the MBTA by a panel appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker. (State House News)

Shirley Leung says Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack and the Baker administration deserve props for raising the idea of a means-based fare structure for the T and commuter rail. (Boston Globe)

Regional officials overseeing South Coast Rail planning insist the damning report on MBTA management and finances and the subsequent moratorium on expansion will not derail the project. (Standard-Times)


The Baker administration takes an all-of-the-above approach on energy, while utilities decry the high cost of subsidies for solar and other renewables. (CommonWealth)


Aaron Hernandez is found guilty of first degree murder after nearly 40 hours of jury deliberations. (Boston Globe)

Greater Boston has a roundtable discussion on whether police should wear body cameras.


David Skok, who was promoted on Tuesday from his position as the Globe‘s digital advisor to the managing editor of digital, discusses the paper’s online strategy at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center. (Media Nation) Globe editor Brian McGrory’s announcement of the promotion is here. (Poynter)


CORRECTION: An earlier version of The Download referred Bain Capital as a “Big Three” firm. That reference applies to only to Bain & Co, which is a separate company.