Boutique Firms - How to find such a firm?

Reading through the forum I recently came across this:

PE isn't the only option, nor is buy-side. Go to a hedge fund or a boutique shop. I know of one boutique shop that has less than 90 people, manages 10.5B in assets, and works with numerous other firms (p/e, hedge funds, com. funds, etc). They're really bearish (which is why their current returns are a dismal 2-5%) but even at that, that's 200-500 million they make for clients. They get 15% of that, so 30-75m respectively to split among the small work force.

How do you find such a firm? This may be more challenging for me since I want to stay in Seattle. Is there some sort of registry? Or a forum? Or would I search on 'boutique capital seattle'?

How do you find and get such a job?

Comments (14)

May 12, 2011 - 10:11am

Nice mythology about networking, but I've done it for years and have a pretty good rep, but no jobs this way.

These companies are not covert. I'm not expecting a job posting on Monster.com, but they have to have some characteristic that you can search for their website and approach them.

I've bee a real estate reveloper for 20 years and have launched two private equity funds, but I don't understand what kind of company he's talking about in my first post. Was hoping for some insight here.

I've found a developer who's about to start a high-rise here in Seattle by searching on 'real estate capital seattle', and have a job interview tomorrow. Nervous.

Best Response
May 12, 2011 - 1:58pm
Quantum:
Nice mythology about networking, but I've done it for years and have a pretty good rep, but no jobs this way.

These companies are not covert. I'm not expecting a job posting on Monster.com, but they have to have some characteristic that you can search for their website and approach them.

I've bee a real estate reveloper for 20 years and have launched two private equity funds, but I don't understand what kind of company he's talking about in my first post. Was hoping for some insight here.

I've found a developer who's about to start a high-rise here in Seattle by searching on 'real estate capital seattle', and have a job interview tomorrow. Nervous.

Cool story bro. Maybe I'm a rarity, but my SA gig at a respectable MM is thanks to networking, a killer letter of recommendation from a BSD at a bulge bracket is from networking. The MM had zero posts about it on their website and most people who go to the buyside don't get gigs that are posted online. Networking you're doing it wrong. Most jobs are never posted and even for those that are it is much easier to get through networking. You admit you have no idea about this and yet you reject networking as a viable option.

May 12, 2011 - 9:41pm

'Admit I have no idea about this'? No, quite the opposite if you'll go back and re-read my post.

I do have no idea though, what an SA, MM, BSD, or 'buyside' is. Maybe someone can enlighten.

May 14, 2011 - 12:47pm
futurectdoc:
You have no idea what buyside is yet you "have launched two private equity funds" are you kidding me?

Pump your brakes junior. Are you completely tactless? You have a Summer Analyst gig and you're belittling a guy who has 20 years of experience in the work force. YOU are the problem in this industry. The guy came here to get some answers (you don't really have any experience besides what you've read here or elsewhere or heard from conversations from people who have been there), so don't jump all over him with criticism. Learn some respect... you come across like an ass clown when you approach situations as you just did.

May 14, 2011 - 12:24pm

There was an answer, to network, but you rejected that. Here is a hint if you want to join a real firm you either need to network in, have an MBA from a top 30 school to have a shot at the middle market, M7 for the BBs, come from HYPW or a semi-target. I'm not trying to be a prick, but I'll be blunt who would hire you? I could see maybe RE IB, but then only if you've done real deals not little developments. You're probably 30 something do you have a finance background? If you were able to launch two PE funds why would you join a firm?

May 14, 2011 - 12:56pm

A 1st year analyst I forgot you must be a BSD, I bow and scrape in your presence oh master of Excel. I have no problem except when people bullshit, if this guy is saying he launched two PE firms and doesn't know what buyside means that's a bit of a red flag. If someone said they were in IB and couldn't tell you what DCF meant wouldn't that surprise you a bit? Let's be honest don't you think that is a bit suspicious?

I told the guy to network, he doesn't like that suggestion, I don't care if he has been in "industry" for 100 years, networking works and if he is just going to dismiss it out of hand I don't think he can be helped.

May 14, 2011 - 1:13pm
futurectdoc:
A 1st year analyst I forgot you must be a BSD, I bow and scrape in your presence oh master of Excel. I have no problem except when people bullshit, if this guy is saying he launched two PE firms and doesn't know what buyside means that's a bit of a red flag. If someone said they were in IB and couldn't tell you what DCF meant wouldn't that surprise you a bit? Let's be honest don't you think that is a bit suspicious?

I told the guy to network, he doesn't like that suggestion, I don't care if he has been in "industry" for 100 years, networking works and if he is just going to dismiss it out of hand I don't think he can be helped.

Your attitude sucks... you do come off as a prick, and throwing a disclaimer in front of whatever prickish thing you decide to say does not make you sound any less of one. There is a thing called "having respect for people," and it doesn't matter if they happen to ask what you perceive to be a dumb question (his wasn't), that doesn't give you the right to respond like a sarcastic jackass. You project a massive air of entitlement OVER THE INTERNET... just in reading the 3 or so comments you made on this thread alone, you don't make a good impression. Hopefully, for the sake of your future experiences in the workplace you are better at hiding this...

Oh, and cool story bro... I really care what you think with your little quips... I've already made it, so I don't see what your biting sarcasm was supposed to accomplish. Considering you are trying to get somewhere that others already are, just like Quantam is, solidifies the fact that you can't see the irony here. That speaks volumes...

May 14, 2011 - 1:02pm

@ Quantum, I could see a smaller, specialized boutique Asset Manager / PE shop taking a serious look at your candidacy given your extensive development, seed funding background. What junior over here doesn't realize is that you probably have an extensive network having run whole development projects, and are likely extremely plugged into the Real Estate space. It will be tough if you don't have an MBA, but assuming you get one and bring an arsenal of roladex contacts to a small shop, they could easily see value in you, especially if they are an early stage fund that needs help with raisng capital. There are places that hire people almost exclusively to raise funds (not sure that's what you want to do), but you'll still need the technical background. Your story would actually lend itself strongly to an MBA admissions candidacy (assuming that you are applying more to exec MBAs due to your level of experience... probably a bit past the full-time MBA with 20 somethings stage) because you have a clear career trajectory shift that you want to make. If I'm looking at your app, I say "Here's a guy that has a strong background in RE Dev, has a track record of success in the entrepreneurial space, and he wants to bring his unique skills/background to our community, and in exchange he is going to receive our brand equity and associated benefits of such pedigree. I can't guarantee that you will get into a great MBA program or that your age isn't an issue because it very well might be, however I do think that it is a bit tactless to tell someone who probably has an awesome career profile (one I'd love to pick your brain about) and belittle them because they don't know what a couple stupid acronyms are. I seriously doubt that futurectdoc would take that tone with someone of your positon in real life... it's just internet bravado, so brush it off as such.

Bottom line: I know you know how to network, so I would recommend exhausting your list of contacts you made while sourcing funds for your PE shops, and see if anyone can swing some after work drinks to discuss your options. See what someone who is established and credible thinks about your candidacy... and if they want to be blunt with you, then let them. Don't put a whole lot of weight into what some college junior has to say. Hell, I'm a junior guy at my firm and I wouldn't speak to you the way that kid did. You know why? Because I was raised properly, and I respect people who have more life experience than I do. Maybe try approaching some headhunters too... they may be able to arrange some sitdowns with smaller specialized shops. Hope that was helpful...

May 25, 2011 - 12:33pm

Thanks rufiolove, I see that there are civilized people here after all.

Actually I am fortunate to have an MBA in Land Use Economics (commercial development) from an Ivy League.
Junior up there is way off about my age.

Thing is though, I've relocated from Dallas to Seattle, and don't know alot of ppl here. No one in my alum assoc here is in my field. So I am trying to suss out how to identify those small but very influential firms, and approach them with my portfolio history. I've gathered every record of my work and credit history from age 17 to the present, arrayed in chron order in a binder. Interesting to see a car loan I paid off in 1972; and a bank loan for a TV which I actually secured with my bank account to establish credit in 1971... anyway, my portfolio is my coherent history and I suspicion that it will help.

Just have to ID the firms in Seattle. I've searched on '"real estate" capital seattle' and forwarded a number of resumes, and most responded that they are not hiring... but at least they responded. One developer who's just broken ground on a high-rise interviewed me, and said he might have something for me later, but referred me to another developer. He interviewed me and said he's discuss me with his partner when they get cranked back up in Seattle, and that in the meantime if I bring him a deal he'd give me a piece. As it happens I have a $15M multifamily deal and he likes it; if he does it I expect a broker's fee of 2-3%. Meanwhile I've found a $25M apartment complex which I am now working to get under contract; if I succeed (the seller is not known to be reasonable, and there is much competition for the property), I'll look for a financial partner to do the deal, which shouldn't be hard as I know several looking for such a thing. Hope for 15% of income and cap gains on that one.

But I've been doing this shit for three years, and nothing's panned out so far. Don't want to let it get to the point of financial discomfort.

Feb 4, 2017 - 1:26pm

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