Lifestyle and hours at start-up boutique M&A shops - Zaoui, BDT, LionTree, Robey Warshaw, M. Klein

Rank: Gorilla | 727

A friend of mine (seriously! not me!) has an offer with a ~2 year old 'start-up' investment bank that's swinging for the fences (large cap deals) and also working on some smaller stuff (<$500mm sell-sides, general advisory/consulting assignments, private placements). I know people don't like discussing hours, ranking and GPAs in this forum but thought this might be an interesting topic nonetheless.

Anybody here have any insights on the kind of hours the juniors (analysts/associates) and VPs pull at these types of shops? Representative examples include LionTree back when it started, Zaoui & Co., Robey Warshaw, BDT, M.Klein & Co., and etc. The firm has about 3 heavy-hitter MDs with C-suite relationships and just three junior under them at this time. Supposedly robust deal flow and lots of activity.

While we're at it, maybe just discuss quality of the experience, promotion opps, b-school or other exits, pay and such :)

Thanks in advance for any insights for my friend!

Comments (8)

Sep 7, 2016


Float like a butterfly, sting like the bee.

Sep 7, 2016

I think with boutiques the lifestyle and hours vary on their specific culture. I interned at an M&A boutique in NY this summer and the hours varied a lot. Typically, the bosses came in very late. My boss came at 11 am on a good day and 2/3 pm on a bad day. The CEO had inverted sleeping hours so she came in between 4 and 7 PM and some days not at all.

As you can imagine, when your bosses come in at those hours you are probably not leaving at 6...and us interns and analysts came in between 8 and 10 am. M&A tends to have a bit of a procrastination culture and working until the am hours is not a strange concept. A lot of the work doesn't have a specific deadline so things tend to get pushed back until the bosses say "we need to get on this" or "we should send this presentation tonight". I would often be handed work between 7 and 10 pm and sometimes it needed to be done by morning. The analysts would stay later than us interns. You should network with people in those specific shops and ask about the lifestyle if you think it's appropriate to raise the question.

Sep 7, 2016

Thanks - was this boutique the kind of firm as mentioned in the post title? True boutiques that work on large-cap, mega deals? (e.g. M. Klein & Co. advised on the Dow/DuPont merger)

Float like a butterfly, sting like the bee.

Sep 7, 2016

No, it was more MM. They have done some huge deals in the past, but mostly MM.

Aug 16, 2017

I'd like to resurrect this thread. Does anyone have any insight towards deal flow and exit ops for M Klein and Co or Peter J Solomon?

    • 1
Oct 2, 2017

Late to thread but probably boss exit opps. If you have solid deal experience and can network, you never know where you end up.

Apr 10, 2018

Any updates on these shops for FT recruiting? Do they recruit out of SA positions or FT as well?

Aug 18, 2018