So I was wondering what life is like at a smaller boutique firm. I know a couple guys to work for different boutiques - and they both work around 60 hours on average a week and rarely pull all nighters or do weekends. Another person I know, in NYC, is working about 65ish hours a week, no all nighters or weekends either. Partly, this is because there's less work to go around, the personalities are less intense type As, and the concept of "face time" isn't too established. All of them say that compared to the bulge banks, the boutique level of competition and intensity is also much lower.
Given that I don't care that much about money/prestige and that I'm doing banking because I really like finance, I'm thinking boutique might be the way to go and still maintain a little sanity (100 hour weeks are not for me). I know even a boutique is still not easy and that banking is a tough career, but boutiques sound more manageable. Can anybody elaborate on how typical my friends' experience are and whether the boutique offers at least some type of work-life balance?
Work Life at Small Investment Banks
Work life balance is often a concern for those looking to break into finance. Boutique investment banks can offer the best of both words through a good experience and less intense hours. Our users share their insight on the work life balance, firms to avoid, and salary below.
Prestigious Boutique Investment Firms
There is an important distinction to draw between boutique and middle market firms and "prestigious boutiques" that will work analysts just as hard bulge bracket banks.
Top boutiques work more intensive hours than their bulge bracket counterparts.
PWP, GHL, Moelis, Lazard, and others work their analysts to DEATH. The tradeoff is that you are receiving incredible experience and exposure. You aren't sitting around and you'll be working constantly.
Read more about these company in the Wall Street Oasis Company Database.
Hours of Boutique Investment Banks
Our users described the hours of non-prestigious boutiques.
At other boutiques, you won't have as much deal flow, but you'll constantly be pitching and still putting in 80-100 hrs a wk.
In short, if you want a good lifestyle then I-Banking isn't for you. Try corporate or commercial banking -- similar in the fact that you're providing financing for your clients; not as sexy and the comp isn't as good, but such are tradeoffs in life.
Boutique Investment Banking Income
Our users shared that a boutique investment bank (outside of the prestigious boutiques) will have a salary between $50-60 thousand.
Pay is about 50-60K a year for my boutique analyst friends. Then 10-20 K in bonus. So let's say 70K a year total, on average, for maybe 60 hours per week. From what I heard, Associates might hit around 90-120 K a year, depending on their performance. No Goldman for sure, but at least they get to sleep.
Read more about investment banking salaries in the 2018 Investment Banking Industry Report.
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