About that Bain Capital photo…

May 31, 2012, 12:29 AM UTC

FORTUNE — Earlier today I moderated an ACG Boston panel that included Geoff Rehenert, co-founder of The Audax Group and part of the original team at Bain Capital.

We spent a lot of time talking presidential politics, particularly as it affects the private equity market. Rehnert expressed frustration at how the industry has been portrayed, taking particular exception to the furor over a photo of Mitt Romney and other Bain execs posing with $10 and $20 bills (Rehnert is second-from-right, with the money in his mouth)

Rehnert said that the photo was akin to a store owner posting its first dollar earned, given that it was taken just after Bain had closed its first-ever fund. More importantly, he said, most of the folks in the photo were not (yet) wealthy. Both he and Josh Beckenstein, Rehenert said, were still working to pay off more than $10,000 in student loans (may not sound like much, but remember this was the 1980s).

Given that Rehnert has since donated thousands of dollars to Romney’s presidential campaigns, I’m guessing that those debts are long since retired…

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