Boutique IB Comp at the Mid-Senior Levels

There has been a lot of discussion on MM banks lately, so I wanted to see if anyone would be willing to give some insight into their experiences working in more of the boutique banks. 

  • What are pitching/deal processes like compared to MM/BB banks?
  • Since boutiques are typically more "specialized" do most bankers past the analyst levels tend to have less optionality in moving to other careers?
  • What is typical comp like after the analyst level? I imagine that there is a fair bit more upside, but a lot less cushion on less robust years

Would love to hear about everyone's experiences. Thanks!

Comments (6)

  • NA in IB-M&A
Dec 18, 2020 - 7:55am

Wouldn't that give the possibility for compensation to be quite a bit more since fee revenues wouldn't be diluted across so many employees?

  • Analyst 2 in S&T - Other
Dec 18, 2020 - 8:29am

I'd say quite the opposite actually. Put it this way, at boutiques typically there are far less employees cumbersome admin roles so a larger % of fees generated can go directly back into bonuses. The caveat is that if MDs don't bring in deals, there will be no fees. Much more of an "eat what you kill" environment

Dec 18, 2020 - 9:40am

I guess it depends, when I think boutique I'm thinking one of those shops doing $10-$50mm deals. If you have 100x the fees per deal ($1B-$50B deals over over $10-$50mm deals) but just 10x the headcount the math works in your favor. Admittedly I don't have experience at a boutique so I may be quite wrong. Just seems counter-intuitive to me that an MD at Goldman would be bringing down less than an MD at a small boutique, but I have heard of MDs at BBs occasionally leaving for smaller boutiques, which I would assume is because they get Partner-esque comp packages.

Most Helpful
Dec 18, 2020 - 8:18am

I think the experience can be highly variable - If you have solid MDs who bring in lots of deals and are well respected in their particular niche, your stint could be positive and comp can also be very good. On the flipside however, if you are at some no name shop and you have some idiot seniors running deals, it seems like it would be difficult to be paid highly purely due to fee economics and how they trickle down to salary. I'd be interested to hear what the experience is like at places like M. Klein, Qatalyst, and also maybe some of the RX boutiques as that market has been quite active this year. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Dec 19, 2020 - 2:00pm

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