Elite Boutiques - Any general consensus?

citystreet1987's picture
Rank: Monkey | 31

Ok so this topic may have been beaten to death as I have checked other forums on this, but is there any general consensus on which firms fit the definition of an elite boutique (example bank you would consider joining rather than a BB if given the opportunity). The reason I ask is I will be interning at firm which I would rather not name, but is borderline to being considered one. Well I know people hate these posts that deal with prestige and what not, but I think this is a legitimate inquiry into not a ranking, but what boutiques are considered elite.

What I consider the "Elite boutiques":
Lazard, Blackstone, Greenhill, Evercore,Rothschild, Centerview, Gleacher, Moelis, Miller Buckfire, HLHZ

Any substractions? additions?

Comments (85)

Apr 1, 2009

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Apr 1, 2009

Elite Boutique in general refers to advisory firms that will do large deals and compete with the BB. Usually they are started by industry vets who leave the BBs. I would not include HLHZ in there, because they tend to focus on middle market. Perella Weinberg is another name I would add to your list. Peter J. Solomon might be another name to consider, because they tend to show up on a lot of large retail transactions, but also do a lot of middle market.

Miller Buckfire is a great firm, but they are very niche (restructuring). They have done some M&A work, but it is pretty minimal.

What is going to happen is all these "kids" are going to weigh in and argue who is better than who, etc. Ironically a lot of them do not have a job or are basing their arguements on limited knowledge.

Apr 1, 2009

I totally agree with goalieman with every point he makes. I'd also be hesitant to keep Rothschild on that list.

And FYI, Gleacher sold itself to Broadpoint just a few weeks ago. Not sure if Broadpoint plans to keep the name or what...

(http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/03/gleac...)

Apr 1, 2009

Citystreet, if you need anonymous posters to tell you that your future bank is elite i.e. validate your insecurity about the job you took, you won't be a very successful analyst. Don't worry so much about the rankings/prestige, these kinds of posts are hated for a reason: they are fucking meaningless.

Apr 1, 2009

yeh point well taken MDR and goalieman the whole prestige thing is quite annoying makes sense.

But what can I say sometimes people need validation, I think its human nature especially when you want to go for a firm and not sure about the PE/VC exits ops so you ask around what the general perception is.

anyways thnx for the insight i think i got my question answered.

Apr 1, 2009

azwethinkweiz,

Yeah there was a DealBook article on his I believe they are going to call it Gleacher Broadpoint, not sure about the UK operations though which (as you probably know) is called Gleacher Shacklock.

Also Rothschild UK is very strong and I know the restructuring practice in the U.S. is very well known (I believe they just handled the Chicago Sun-Times bankruptcy also maybe Circuit City) so maybe the US Operation can be compared to that of Miller Buckfire's in terms of restructuring.

Apr 1, 2009

azwethinkweiz,

Yeah there was a DealBook article on this I believe they are going to call it Gleacher Broadpoint, not sure about the UK operations though which (as you probably know) is called Gleacher Shacklock.

Also Rothschild UK is very strong and I know the restructuring practice in the U.S. is very well known (I believe they just handled the Chicago Sun-Times bankruptcy also maybe Circuit City) so maybe the US Operation can be compared to that of Miller Buckfire's in terms of restructuring.

Apr 1, 2009

azwethinkweiz,

Yeah there was a DealBook article on this I believe they are going to call it Gleacher Broadpoint, not sure about the UK operations though which (as you probably know) is called Gleacher Shacklock.

Also Rothschild UK is very strong and I know the restructuring practice in the U.S. is very well known (I believe they just handled the Chicago Sun-Times bankruptcy also maybe Circuit City) so maybe the US Operation can be compared to that of Miller Buckfire's in terms of restructuring.

Apr 1, 2009

I think HLHZ is definitely climbing into elite status given the current economy. Their restructuring group is arguably the best on the street, and is absolutely killing it right now. It was definitely in the set of six or seven boutiques that I was looking at after getting laid off from my BB about a month ago - unfortunately I wanted to go into their banking group and they're hiring no one right now.

Apr 1, 2009

Peter J Solomon is usually on the big retail deals, though I don't think their really competing with BB/Laz/Greehill types. PJS is more in the boat with Sagent Advisors, HLHZ, etc.

Apr 1, 2009

Allen & Co too, right?

Apr 1, 2009

I know they are based in D.C. and are really good in the media space (they hold a big media conference that I know Murdoch always goes to).
So if you want to work for a media-related PE or VC this would be the place to go I would think like a BB or elite boutique.

In terms of trying to get a job/internship with them they don't have a website if I am not mistaken so you pretty much have to mail an application to their office unless of course you go to a target of theirs.

Apr 1, 2009

I've heard that Allen & Co doesn't really hire interns unless you are related to a senior guy/have killer connects

Apr 1, 2009

Yeah drexelalum you are probably right they probably don't hire interns. I was mistaken they are based in NY and the conference's name is SunValley. Also according to Wikipedia they were involved in the Google IPO and list Basketball Play/Senator Bill Bradley and Ex-CIA Director George Tenet as former employees, not bad.

Apr 1, 2009
citystreet1987:

Yeah drexelalum you are probably right they probably don't hire interns. I was mistaken they are based in NY and the conference's name is SunValley. Also according to Wikipedia they were involved in the Google IPO and list Basketball Play/Senator Bill Bradley and Ex-CIA Director George Tenet as former employees, not bad.

Allen & Co is very legit, far beyond having Bill Bradley and George Tenet as former employees. In addition to technology and media, Allen & Co are the investment bankers for Berkshire and Coca Cola. Here's a decent article on the firm:

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_arc...
They are a very good bank, but I'm not sure if junior roles, and thus exit ops, would be as defined there. I'm presuming anyone who turns them down for an internship has a killer offer elsewhere though.

Apr 1, 2009

I know a guy who got an internship offer there - and I'd say my school doesn't have "killer" connections. Most likely just massive amounts of luck. Either way, he turned it down.

Apr 1, 2009

^^ HE probably had good connections, that's about 95% of the game...they seem to be a whole different entity from other boutiques. from what i've read, the only have about 100 employees, so i doubt they actively recruit ANY schools

Apr 2, 2009

GameTheory wrote something on Allen & Co a while back. Search for it.

Apr 2, 2009

Elitism on Wall Street died when Goldman became a retail bank.

Apr 2, 2009

I would add Robert W. Baird

Apr 2, 2009

LondonE1, sometimes you be slippin cuz...

Apr 2, 2009

I know a lot of people have mentioned Gleacher (soon to be Broadpoint Gleacher), but I noticed that they haven't done a lot of deals recently. (Huntsman/Hexion and General Dynamics/Jet Aviation being their most recent involved negotiations).

They were last on the top 25 Americas M&A League tables (http://thomsonreuters.com/business_units/financial...) in 2005. Yet I've heard all about Eric Gleacher as a legend on the Street, a lot of it having to do with his previous jobs at MS and LEH. What's the deal with this firm? And are they getting a lot of deal flow right now?

Apr 3, 2009

Gleacher is considered impressive from a junior perspective because of 1) PER CAPITA deal flow (they have ~25 people total I think, 2) their pay, and 3) their excellent PE/HF placement.

Analysts there have no associates looking over them (because there are none), and it is pretty normal for an analyst to make something and then have it sent directly to the MD and taken to a meeting without even more than a basic proofread. Analysts as a result become incredibly anal-retentive about detail and on top of their shit and do very well during recruiting. The fact that Gleacher even ever showed up in the Top 50 M&A profiles considering its headcount is a testament to how good they are.

Apr 2, 2009

Another useless thread. How does Macquarie make the list? What cracks me up is people associate boutique and middle market as one in the same. They are two completely different animals.

Apr 2, 2009
goalieman688:

Another useless thread. How does Macquarie make the list? What cracks me up is people associate boutique and middle market as one in the same. They are two completely different animals.

I said that these are decent MM/boutique firms...and Macquarie is decent enough to be on the list. i am confused, isn't this your dream company?

Apr 2, 2009

Yep, totally different animals. But then again why would a bunch of college juniors understand that when they can spend their time bitching at each other over which bank is more 'elite' just like they bitched at each other about which school is better when they were in high school. Some things never change.

Apr 2, 2009

Oh your wit astounds me. I did not realize that your prestigious school taught you how to be a comedian. I do not see how a large bank can be considered a boutique or a middle market firm. They just hired a bunch of ex Lehman and Bear guys in the U.S. If anything I would classify them as a Tier 2 or 3 bank (similar to an HSBC, BNP, etc.) You really must get your rocks off having heated debates about places that you do not work.

Apr 3, 2009

The list is too long. Most of them are decent, but the elite ones are: Lazard, Greenhill, Evercore, Perella Weinberg, Moelis and Blackstone

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Jun 19, 2009

George Tenet and Bill Bradley are current employees at Allen & Co. They do not hire interns (all interns are referred through MDs at the firm)

Jul 24, 2009

How are MBA placement and exit opportunities to PE at the "decent" boutiques?

Jul 24, 2009

What's a "decent" boutique?

Jul 24, 2009

a notch below the mentioned list?

Jul 25, 2009

out of your "decent" (for lack of a better word) boutiques, harris williams and william blair send tons of analysts to very good PE shops

Jul 25, 2009

Does anyone have thoughts on Qatalyst?

Jul 25, 2009

You should probably throw Sagent Advisors on there as well.

Aug 9, 2009

Sagent is not elite. Good but not elite. Lazard, Greenhill, Evercore, Perella Weinberg, Moelis LA and Blackstone are "elite".

Aug 9, 2009
Advisory88:

Sagent is not elite. Good but not elite. Lazard, Greenhill, Evercore, Perella Weinberg, Moelis LA and Blackstone are "elite".

Interesting. So Moelis NY is not as highly regarded? Obviously the LA office would be front and center, but is there a significant disparity between offices?

I'd be curious to hear other opinions.

Aug 10, 2009
qwertykeyboard:
Advisory88:

Sagent is not elite. Good but not elite. Lazard, Greenhill, Evercore, Perella Weinberg, Moelis LA and Blackstone are "elite".

Interesting. So Moelis NY is not as highly regarded? Obviously the LA office would be front and center, but is there a significant disparity between offices?

I'd be curious to hear other opinions.

Once again someone clueless on this board spouting off. Moelis NY is the better of the two offices. Anyone claiming LA is more prestigious is thinking back to UBS LA's reputation. They may be equal, but no one thinks LA is significantly better than NY. Things have changed.

Aug 10, 2009

Were any elite boutiques on this recent Pepsi deal? Anyone know?

Aug 10, 2009

perella and centerview

Nov 2, 2009

What about Stephens Inc. IBD?

Nov 2, 2009

stephens is a piece of shit rofl u work there

Nov 2, 2009

This thread is so Piper Jaffray-ish.

Nov 2, 2009

You have a Mortal Combat symbol as an icon... I'll take Piper Jaffray-ish as a complement then.

Thanks,

-Andrew

Nov 2, 2009
Andrewr86:

You have a Mortal Combat symbol as an icon... I'll take Piper Jaffray-ish as a complement then.

Thanks,

-Andrew

You spelled Mortal Kombat wrong. GET OVER HERE!

Nov 2, 2009

the only elite boutiques are blackstone, moelis, lazard, evercore, greenhill.

Nov 2, 2009
banker88:

This thread is so Piper Jaffray-ish.

Wow. You're so clever. Can you please come up with another line? Twice in one week? Come on, now!

banker88:

Haha I don't think anyone would consider Jefferies over Citi. That comparison was so Piper Jaffray-ish of you.

But between BofA, Citi, UBS, CS, etc. you are probably right that there is not much of a difference in getting into a top MBA - but doing investment banking is not necessarily sufficient to get in.

Nov 2, 2009

Come up with another line??? haha, no he just knows how to regurgitate LSO

Nov 11, 2009

brown brothers is a HORRIBLE BANK.

Nov 11, 2009

someone added a comment about Qatalyst.
Frank Quattrone is the best in the business.

Nov 17, 2009

Are all these boutiques/MM's stepping stones to a top 5 MBA program provided you perform well on the job?

Nov 17, 2009

evr/laz/centerview/Greenhill/Moelis/pwp are the usual suspects

Nov 17, 2009
kidflash:

evr/laz/centerview/Greenhill/Moelis/pwp are the usual suspects

Right, I am trying to understand the basis for qualification to be EB. If there was any sort of established ranking.

Nov 17, 2009

EB status can vary year to year. E.g. Gleacher used to be up there years ago. Now look what happened.
Miller Buckfire was more of an EB back in 08-10 when Rx business was booming. Now that Rx has slowed down a lot and they've been acquired by Stifel, that prestige has taken a real hit.

"Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be"

Nov 17, 2009
nontargetPSD92:

EB status can vary year to year. E.g. Gleacher used to be up there years ago. Now look what happened.

Miller Buckfire was more of an EB back in 08-10 when Rx business was booming. Now that Rx has slowed down a lot and they've been acquired by Stifel, that prestige has taken a real hit.

I understand the general consensus, but who determines these statuses? Is there something more official like a bloomberg list or league table or something?

Nov 17, 2009

Didn't all the rainmakers get poached from Miller Buckfire? Word around town it's a ghost town now.

Nov 17, 2009

Nouveau Richie posted this in another thread:

Bulge Bracket: GS, MS, JPM, Barclays, CS, DB, Citi, BAML, UBS
Tier-2 Balance Sheet Shops: Wells Fargo, HSBC, Nomura, SocGen, BNP, etc.
Global Independent Advisory Firms: Evercore, Lazard (Freres), Blackstone, Rothschild, Greenhill, Moelis, etc.
Elite Boutiques: Centerview, Allen, Qatalyst, PWP, Guggenheim (yes, really), etc.
Full-Services Middle Market: Jefferies, HLHZ, Stifel, RBC, William Blair, Baird, Piper Jaffray, etc.
Middle Market Independent Advisory: Harris Williams, Sagent, Lazard (Middle Market), etc.
Fake Banks/Valuation Shops: Duff & Phelps, KPMG Advisory, PwC M&A, etc.
Specialists: Financial Technology Partners, Greentech Capital Partners, etc.
True Boutiques: (Places with a few offices or less, 100 employees or less, etc.)

Nov 17, 2009

As someone at an "elite boutique" working in restructuring, I can tell you Miller Buckfire is a great shop that still wins some great mandates. Would imagine analysts have solid exit opps.

Nov 17, 2009

You can't be an EB if you've been acquired by Stifel.

Nov 17, 2009
BTbanker:

You can't be an EB if you've been acquired by Stifel.

KBW? And yeah FIG is different whatever.

Nov 17, 2009

Haha, thank you to everyone for their input, I guess it's pretty subjective?

Nov 17, 2009
Discounted Cash Bro:

Haha, thank you to everyone for their input, I guess it's pretty subjective?

Guess I'll weigh in quickly, having worked for an elite boutique in the past. It's subjective to a point. As in, it's subjective in that from year to year, the general amorphous industry decides who is considered an elite boutique. There's no official criteria, vote or list anywhere, you just know who is and who isn't.

Therefore, it's not subjective (in my opinion) in that a firm might be considered one or might not. If you're having the debate, it probably is not one. Miller Buckfire, for instance, is not an elite boutique. It is a boutique firm that is very good at restructuring. In general, exit ops will not be on par with other top tier restructuring firms. Like I said though, they are very well respected in the restructuring world.

The list referenced by goblan is more or less accurate. The firms listed in the "global independent advisory firms", especially Lazard and Blackstone, were traditionally counted as an elite boutique, and still kind of are mostly out of history and tradition, but are so large these days they kind of fall in a weird spot.

Nov 17, 2009

No opinions concerning Blackstone/Evercore/Greenhill/Moelis/Perella 's reputation outside the US?

Nov 17, 2009

I've generally heard that EB's don't do as in Asia at least, perhaps because IB is more capital markets driven.

Nov 17, 2009
kidflash:

I've generally heard that EB's don't do as in Asia at least, perhaps because IB is more capital markets driven.

I see, that makes sense. I think they are already more established in Europe than in Asia but they still aren't mandated as often on large deals (+1bn) as they are in the US, so I was wondering how that might affect exits in the region..

Btw, how easy is it for a European without US work permit to change offices to the US? I know that it's possible at the Associate level, but does anyone know if it can be done after a year?

Nov 17, 2009

? BX M&A, BX R&R are on another planet if youre talking exits. none of those shops compare for placements.

Nov 17, 2009

I think it is worth distinguishing between those EBs that have founders that are making a genuine attempt to create an enduring company, vs. those that are shops for the founders to operate from until they retire.

Nov 17, 2009

3.8-3.9 is what ive heard for top boutiques

Nov 17, 2009
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