IB Exit Opps & Careers - 'No Name' Boutique vs. EB vs. BB

Hi everyone

I was wondering if people could share experiences onto where you can go from full-time if in a 'no-name boutique' bank.

I'm aware of the BB being best for PE exits, and similar (HF/VC etc...) . But how would one go about this from a small boutique bank? I've not really seen too many people talk about this and would be interested in learning more about the exits from smaller boutique shops too.

I'd love to also know, should you pursue a no-name boutique - what are your future career prospects like within IB? Can you work your way up across the EB/BB chain - i.e. jump to EB, jump to BB - provided you put in good work & transition to the same team - or how would it work.

Thanks in advance.


Hi Prospect in IB - Gen, no, I never sleep and so I can respond to any lonely threads (like this one) at all hours of the night. Impressive, I know ;-)

More suggestions...

Hope that helps.

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Coming from a "no-name" LMM boutique myself, the most common 3 paths are:

- Lateral to a BB or to a better known MM boutiques such as William Blair or Baird - this is very common especially at senior analyst or associate level

- Lateral to another "no-name" boutique or to the Corporate Finance arm of a big 4 

- Move to the buy-side to LMM PE funds no one has ever heard of. I am talking about firms with 100 to 200m AUM, and investing in companies with $3-8m EBITDA 


Interesting to know - thank you for shedding some light on that.

Why would people move over to CorpFin at Big 4? Afaik it is much less pay than boutique IB + hours can still get long (from what I've heard & read - London).

That's an interesting move to PE; I wonder what the experience in smaller PE shops is like.

Mind me also asking, are you US/UK?


Idk if this is London or something where BB > EB but in the US EBs often > BB (but groups make a bigger difference here) for PE exits. Like EVR M&A > BAML for example (Even PWP > BAML). However obviously GS TMT/FIG > MOE. So I wouldn't think about this so linearly where EB


Once again, very group specific as it’s a BB. Obviously BAML FSG or LevFin are very good on the street, but due to placement competition and other factors, at least at my and other targets where I have friends almost every single person is picking PWP > BAML 100% of the time. Better culture, pay, exit opps into PE if you want them. BAML has a few very great groups and many shit ones.


That's quite interesting to know, thanks for the input - and yes this would be a conversation centered around London.

If you know at all, would I be right to assume in London it's more brand based i.e. BB + shit group > EB + better group - or is there still some weighting to the group you're in in the UK?


Tbh I’m not sure and don’t want to mislead you. I’ve generally heard brand name > all in London/Europe but I don’t know enough to give you a good answer. Good luck!


London is less group based your right but also the tiny differences between firms are not as deep as the US. E.g. buyside recruiting from Citi vs UBS is really not gonna make that much difference at all. Like it might make a tiny difference but your overall application performance will be far more important. EMEA IB recruiting is a lot more randomised so buyside firms know someone from firm X is not necessarily "better" than firm Y.


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