ER to Commodity Trading (Boutiques vs Bunge / Cargill)

Currently an ER analyst interviewing for (junior) trader positions in Amsterdam, Germany and Switzerland. Firms include the likes of Bunge, Cargill and small "boutiques" like ACT Commodities, DXT Commodities. Products are varied (Biofuels, LNG, Grains etc.)

Now I've got two questions

  1. Has anyone even heard of these "boutiques"? Profiles according to LinkedIn seem to be solid (albeit lower quality than the IBD and ER folks)

  2. Should I always choose a trading position at Bunge/Cargill vs the Boutiques?


I personally wouldn't discount boutique in commodities like that.  Sure they aren't going to have the "prestige" of a Cargill or Bunge but many folks at these types of shops are raking in cash with a relatively chill lifestyle. But from what I"ve heard, boutiques aren't the best for juniors starting out but great for mid and senior guys who can perform.

Cannot comment on the firms you mentioned in the post but know a jr trader at a commodity "boutique" based in London.  Base was 60k GBP and 25k bonus.  As for earnings potential (for juniors), it varies so much that it's hard to generalize.  Some of these smaller shops will try to groom juniors and make it as meritocractic as possible and give great learning experience while others will try to pay juniors lowest they can.  

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