Following the Great Recession in the late oughts, big banks, believed to be most responsible for the crash began splintering off into smaller firms called boutique investment banks. These banks may or may not actually be full-service banks as is the case with one of the most well-known boutiques, Charles Schwab.
These smaller firms are the most popular choice for mergers, acquisitions and raising capital for small to medium companies. They are often staffed by people noted within the banking community in New York. This makes it easier for companies to choose a particular bank to work with because they can determine what that individual’s strengths and successes have been with other company’s finances.
These firms are like the partnerships that were popular on Wall Street in the 1970s and in the 1980s. It seems that after the crash in 2008, a trend has developed towards trusting the small finance firms. They are assumed to take on smarter risks with investments and corporate money.
Many boutique banks are brand new while some have been around in New York for centuries if not just decades. Brown Brothers Harriman is one such firm. They provide their clients with wealth management, commercial banking and merger and acquisition services. They serve wealthy individual clients as well as companies.
Individuals wanting to break into the business of high finance in New York, in particular, believe that applying to smaller firms is a certain route to success. The reality is that these banks are as hard, if not harder, to get into.
This is due to the fact that they are smaller and have only a handful of positions for which hundreds of applicants apply. Lists of renown investments bankers or banks are available online.