Investment Banks

What is Boutique and Bulge Bracket Investment Banks?

When most out there decide what to do investment banking, which usually go after the big names: Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. But sometimes it goes to one of these places is not a realistic option. If the contracting market is bad, if you have no previous experience in finance, or whether to make a career change, it will be practically impossible to start at the top. If this is the case, you should consider boutique investment bank. The term is used differently all the time, but usually refers to both “middle-market” banks that have an international presence but only work in smaller brand names contracts, as well as some boutiques only you may have 1 or 2 offices.

People often say that the size of the offers that makes the difference. While Goldman Sachs can advise on $ 100 billion, a boutique acquisitions usually stick to offers under one billion dollars, and often much less. That may sound like a lot of money, but almost nothing is big business. Other differences are commonly cited in small working groups in a boutique, gaining more responsibility and do more than just calculations. These may be true, but I think that is 100% correct. The main difference, in my opinion, is that the boutique experiences are more random than those in the largest banks.

You can get a good experience in a boutique and learn more about dealing with decisions that you would in a bulge bracket. But you can also spend all your time doing useless work if the directors of banks can not make rain. I’ve seen both occur. A friend in a boutique learned the job in 3 months because of all the responsibility assumed; another friend spent most of his time making coffee and doing the administrative duties!

You can get a “better experience”, but your chances of having good exit opportunities are much greater in a bulge bracket. But it’s the end of the world if I’m working in a boutique?

No. But if you like to go that route, you should investigate very thoroughly the workplace, deal flow, and everything else before you leap. For a more accurate view, try talking to analysts and associates, rather than up. There will still be a high risk due to the lapse of time between the time that interview and when you start. The boutiques are particularly vulnerable to the “star” employees leaving and wreaking havoc, significantly affect the business.

In short, I would recommend going to a boutique only if you have absolutely no other options or if you have some kind of personal relationship with the company or known to a wide circle of people.