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Editor’s Take: Maybe it’s not such a good idea to join a boutique

It was recently fashionable to join a corporate finance boutique. So many people wanted to do it that houses like Fenchurch Advisory Partners said they were ‘inundated with unsolicited applications at all levels.’ But following first quarter results, joining a boutique doesn’t seem as trend setting.

In the first quarter, most investment banks were buoyed by shenanigans related to fixed income, and corporate finance houses were unable to participate. It did not help that announced and completed M&A in Europe fell 42% and 34% respectively.

As a result, boutiques and corporate finance focused investment banks appear to have had a bad start to the year. Boutiques are largely privately held affairs and don’t disclose their figures, but houses like Lazard and Greenhill do. Revenues at Lazard fell 42% year on year in the first quarter and it made a loss of $54m. Revenues at Greenhill fell 6% and profits were down 28%.

It’s not that bad. Goldman and Morgan Stanley also saw their first quarter advisory revenues fall by 10% or more. And a poor three months doesn’t appear to have dented Lazard’s ardour for expansion: it has ‘accelerated its global hiring initiative at a senior level’ according to Bruce Wasserstein. This week’s results may, however, make people think twice about working for him.

Comments (10)

  1. The bulge brackets will squeeze the boutiques out of everything big by providing balance sheet for the acquisition financing. No idea why everybody thinks boutiques are the ones that will benefit from the crisis. Balance sheet will be a rare asset going forward. If you cant deliver on it you are out.

  2. Sarah u r uglier than I thought.

  3. That’s nice. I never claimed to be beautiful. May I suggest you register on Hot or Not for a fair appraisal of your own attractiveness.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  4. I think she’s quite attractive actually.

  5. Sarah – the thinking man’s woman.

  6. Don’t worry Sarah, I think you are well fit. too many trolls on these message boards.

  7. Seems to be two issues going on here:

    1. M&A in general has fallen in volume worldwide. Real Industry just isn’t doing deals. Both bulge bracket and boutiques are hurting on that front.

    2. The first quarter results for the bulge bracket are a reflection of the fixed income profits which quite frankly are a clean up of the mess left behind from AIG.

    No real fundamental recovery in investment banking.

  8. Hurricane you Nazi, cant you see there are 3 issues. Can you please complement Sarah outstanding looks!

  9. How LOW must you be to call someone ugly?

    You should be ignored as any response to your comment would mean stepping down to your level!!!

  10. Sarah

    Ignore the riff raff that dwell here

    I think you are perfectly pleasing on the eye but, on occasion, do talk alot of wind.

    On the whole, you please me

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