boutique finance

Can You Make More Working in Boutique Finance?

boutique financeIf you’re considering a career in banking, you have a big decision ahead of you.

Now that you have the skill and experience required, you must decide between a future career in boutique finance or large investment banking.

What’s the difference?

Banks that are considered “boutique” tend to be smaller and provide financial services to a very specific part of the market.

Bigger banks offering more general services are considered investment firms (or bulge bracket investment banks). Large U.S. banks like Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan are the most notable.

The difference isn’t just in the size or scope, however. We’ll quickly cover both types of firms below and show how you can earn more money with a career in boutique finance.

Boutique Banks Are on the Rise

The financial business has been a bit of a mess since the financial crisis of 2008. Financial institutions have found ways to recover, though, and boutique firms have taken a big portion of merger and acquisition activity.

This mainly has to do with the rising number of boutique firms that have set up since then. Notable boutique investment banks include The Leland Group, Inc., Centerview Partners, Liontree Advisors and PJT Partners.

These banks have found a specific target or niche that they thrive in. But having a niche market comes with its difficulties. Namely that banks might lack resources that larger firms have.

Still, it’s a better career option for those bankers looking for money and opportunity.

Why Large Investment Banking Isn’t the Way to Go

Large investment banks represent clients from all over the world. They mainly work with larger institutions and may even work with governments. Their offerings are full range and they handle some of the biggest deals in banking.

This comes with certain tell-tale characteristics. The biggest one is the rigid structure and slow process of earning more money. Handling thousands of employees might mean fewer exceptions or room for negotiation for bankers.

Why Small Boutique Finance Is

The short answer here is more money. It’s common for boutique banks to pay junior and mid-ranking bankers more than they would earn in bulge bracket banks.

Investment banks might have a strict salary cap or might not offer great bonuses. It’s the curse of being a part of such a large organization.

Boutiques usually have the freedom to pay what they want to bankers. They aren’t bound by strict expectations and obligations. But money isn’t the only pro to consider.

Besides being able to earn more, bankers probably want to have a strong foundation in their career. There’s a lot of solid ground and potential in boutique banking.

Many offer graduate recruitment and advancement programs to strengthen their smaller teams. The ability to grow and advance comes along with this. And the smaller the team, the greater the individual exposure to projects.

Just a few years with a boutique finance firm can cover what a banker at a large bank might learn in a decade.

Finding the Right Job

It’s all about finding the best job, isn’t it? If money and opportunity are at the top of the wishlist, boutique banking is the way to go.

If you’re still on the hunt, here are a few good tips on searching for the best job.

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