De Beers’ Time of Reckoning

There was a lot of talk about the future of the diamond industry at the Gemological Institute of America Third International Symposium this summer in San Diego. Yet the people who may really help determine the industry’s future were two unassuming women who sat through the sessions without saying a word. The two observers were consultants from Bain and Co., a Boston company “facilitating” De Beers’ strategic review. The review, a top-to-bottom look at De Beers’ assets and role in the market, began last year and was due to be finished just as this article went to press. De Beers has never turned outward for such extensive guidance before, which leads many to speculate that big changes are coming. South Africa’s Business Day predicted the review will lead to a “fundamental shake-up in the diamond market.” De Beers senior management has given sometimes-contradictory sign

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