Q&A: First-year Analyst at a "Micro-Boutique" Investment Bank
As a brief introduction, I was a student athlete at a semi-target school in the Southeast. When I started looking into my options for jobs, I was drawn to investment banking because of the deal mentality, but I was not 100% certain it was the career I wanted for the rest of my life. Due to that mindset, I decided on working for a small "micro-boutique" industry-focused bank, which is also 90%+ M&A advisory, in the same city I went to school despite getting interviews with much larger firms, including a few BBs in New York. I am now 8 months on the job as an investment banking analyst, and after already succumbing to the mid-deal rush addiction, I plan on a long career in either M&A advisory or private equity.
My experience at the firm so far has been fantastic from a deal flow perspective. Due to some lucky circumstances (well, on my part) a number of junior bankers left the firm during my first couple of weeks for various reasons, and I have been the only analyst on the majority of deals my bank has worked on since I arrived. I have been part of two buy-side advisory deals, one sell-side advisory deal, and a capital raise that have all closed in the last half-year. Additionally, I am the only banker beneath VP-level on two sell-side engagements at the moment, one of which is a cross-border deal. Working at a smaller bank certainly has its downsides, but In my opinion, the pros of my experience have far outweighed the cons.
While I certainly do not think that this is the deal-flow experience provided at the majority of smaller (<10 bankers) boutiques, I truly believe that these banks are often foolishly shoved aside in the mind of prospective interns and first-year analysts that only consider the elite boutiques and BBs. Since I feel like the smaller boutique bank demographic is often under-represented on WSO, I wanted to throw together a Q&A. Feel free to ask any questions about the recruiting process I went through, the day-to-day work of an analyst at a smaller shop, or anything else that comes to mind.