Boutique Investment Banks
Small but mighty.
Small but mighty.
The boutique investment bank is different from its largest cousin, the bulge bracket investment bank, when it comes to size and services offered. Bulge bracket investment banks are often national or global in scale and offer a full range of financial services. In contrast, a boutique investment bank may only be regional or local, although there exist certain global boutique investment banks. The main criterion, however, for being defined as a boutique investment bank is that it does not offer full-service investment banking, but offers at least one financial service.
That being said, the size of the firm does not indicate performance. Boutique investment banks can be known to be reliable financial advisors and banks, especially when looking to the likes of Charles Schwabb or the Blackstone Group. Some firms may also only specialize in financial services for a specific industry, and this may be beneficial to clients looking for focus and quality. Cain Brothers, for example, is a boutique investment bank that has a focus for the healthcare industry.
As an employee of a boutique firm, there are many benefits that one would not get at a bulge bracket bank. While compensation packages may not be as attractive as those offered at bulge brackets, training and experience are more on hand and direct for those at boutiques. Due to their size, i-bankers at the boutique are better able to take direct responsibility for tasks and have more direct interactions with other people involved in transactions. In other words, a boutique banker may feel less like a cog in the wheel than a bulge bracket banker. Finally, while hours are still long compared to other industries, boutique investment banks tend to have more predictable hours when compared to bulge-bracket.
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