How shitty are no-name boutiques?

Not going to pretend I have some noble reason to ask.

An alum from my 20 year old, no-name school fancies himself a BSD because he is an "investment banker". But this is a firm based in the middle of nowhere (think Nebraska/Kansas/Iowa/SD). Their entire staff is listed on their site, and the deals they list are things like debt raises for mom and pop shops.

This is the same guy who created a charity with a bunch of friends in college, and they all gave themselves titles like "Senior VP of Strategy" and shit like that- and listed it on LinkedIn.

I don't mind someone living their life- but its different when you try to flex on everyone else.

So- what kind of pay are we talking here?

Comments (28)

  • Teller in Non-profit
Sep 18, 2022 - 11:58pm

Low key hoping for a Vader/Skywalker plot twist

  • Associate 1 in CorpDev
Sep 16, 2022 - 10:32am

I'll bite. I can only speak to no-names from an internship experience perspective, but I worked at three different firms. To save everyone some time, I will start with a TLDR and say that it is very much firm dependent. When working at a no-name run by a dude with shit experience, you will likely be getting snake oil salesman-esque experience. On the flip side, work for a no-name where the partners are all ex-EB, and the experience can be very rewarding. 

Firm 1: Buy-side M&A focused shop out of NYC. This firm was run by two founders and was absolute dogshit. All I did for them the entire time was build potential targets lists for these shit LMM PE funds focusing on the least attractive companies in existence. About 2 weeks in I realized it was a shit opportunity, but I leveraged it for better experience. My takeaway is if the founders dont look legit, do not bother even if you have nothing else lined up. I dont think I learned anything working here and the MD I reported to was a prick. 

Firm 2: Small no-name focusing on DCM / ECM space exclusively. Super small <10 man shop. Very niche but played their part really well and I learned a ton about capital raises. The dudes were so non-IBD it was almost comical. They were really sharp but super laid back and normally left at 6 PM. Seemed to easy to be considered IBD but I respect the hell out of the guys for finding a space they could play well in, and for making the time to teach me. If I wanted to go the DCM / private credit route, I feel I would have been fairly adequately prepared. 

Firm 3: M&A / DCM shop run by ex-EB guys, <100 IBD employees. Really really good experience, helped me hit the desk full time exceptionally well. Folks I worked with knew what was good, and how to win deals as the underdogs. I only worked on two pitches we didnt win, out of four in total. Got expsoure to 3 live deals in the six months I was there. Pay was dogshit (probably HALF of minimum wage once everything was factored in) but it didnt matter too much to me as I got work experience that set me up for success long-term. In hindsight, easy sacrifice. 

These were all in T1 / T2 cities, so not exactly Kansas, but I found the experience to be generally solid across the board. When you work at these smaller shops, you either have grinder MDs who generate good business and win without the inherent benefits of a BB brand name, an elite pedigree, etc. Some of these guys REALLY know how to sell. The flip side is you can end up working for some half-assed, know-nothing, coasting on old, dated connections retarded MDs that will make you think IB as an industry is a scam, especially when you are young and impressionable. 

Sep 17, 2022 - 10:44am
Victory_Light, what's your opinion? Comment below:

<100 probably means less than 100, and more likely closer to around 30-50 people. Usually one of those solid MM banks founded by a couple of ex-senior MD's/Partners/group heads at BB/EB's that punch well above their weight class for certain industries and/or types of assignments/transactions. There's quite a handful of them here on the street as well.

  • Teller in Non-profit
Sep 18, 2022 - 12:58pm

Kid: You're not BSD at all, you're a fake!

BSD: Nah, you're right. All I'm good for is making people cry, like when your mother kept saying "OH MY GOD!!!!"

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Restr
Sep 19, 2022 - 10:00am

As someone who is also petty and gets salty over issues of no consequence I respect your self awareness that this is a stupid thing to get tilted over.

Yes, your son's acquaintance is a total fucking moron. You can't be pulling $120k total comp in Rapid City, SD and walk around like you're king shit.

Anyone who walks around with that attitude is a moron. I did my first analyst year at a top BB and there was only 1 kid in my group who thought he was the man (bought a lot of the banks gear, "only drinks top shelf whiskey", you know THAT guy). Thing is despite having a "prestigious" job we still all thought that guy was a total fucking moron.

  • Manager in CorpFin
Sep 21, 2022 - 10:36am

Just re-read my post- I see that it can be confused that I was talking about a "classmate of my 20-year-old". What I meant was that the school is 20 years old (and thus a total no-name). This guy is slightly behind me, we had a few years in school together.

Glad you appreciate my honesty. I could have posted pretending like I was evaluating interviews and trying to understand pay/prestige of these roles.. But no, petty reasons only. I have high respect for people who are modest about their roles and accomplishments, and absolutely despise people who try to claim baller status with nothing to back it up.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Sep 19, 2022 - 11:58pm

I smell insecurity. Pitiful, lol.

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Sep 22, 2022 - 12:20pm

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  • Works at Goldman Sachs
Sep 22, 2022 - 10:18pm

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