This article presents the top 10 boutique investment banks in the world. In no particular order, they have been discussed below.
A boutique investment bank is basically different from any other investment bank in the general sense that they are involved in small deals. Basically, they do business with mid-market companies that have billions of dollars as sales revenue.
Most of these boutique investment banks focus on a number of the following services: mergers and acquisition, corporate finance, reorganizations, capital raising, restructuring, et al.
The Allen & Company is a private American boutique investment bank which is listed among the top 10 boutique investment banks in the world. This boutique investment bank focuses on the media and entertainment sectors. Its founder is Charles Robert Allen, Jr. At present, the Chairman Executive Officer (CEO) of the company is Herbert A. Allen, Jr.
The company’s strength lies on personal relationships, which is the key to the success of the company. It is worthy of note to mention that Allen & Company was the advisor to Facebook in 2014 when WhatsApp was purchased by Facebook.
Cowen Group is one of the top 10 boutique investment banks whose focus is providing alternative investment management, research and investment banking. The Cowen Group provides their services to a number of sectors; among which are Healthcare, Aerospace & Defence, Real Estates, et al.
The company is segmented into two, which are: Ramius LLC and the other is Cowen and Company LLC. The Ramius LLC specifically focuses on providing their global clients with alternative asset management solutions. The Cowen and Company LLC focuses on broker-dealer segment.
The Perella Weinberg is a relatively new firm among the top 10 boutique investment banks. The primary focus of this company includes M&A, strategic advisory, capital structure advisory, private capital advisory, financial restructuring. Deutsche Wohnen AG, Deutsche Borse AG, and Sunoco LP have had the three most profitable business transactions with Perella Weinberg Partners, all of which accounted for over a few billion Euros.
The company’s strength lies on the fact that the company is truly unique, and they are focused on satisfying their clients, especially when handling investors’ concerns. On the other hand, the company’s weakness is the fact it is relatively newer than the other top 10 boutique investment banks in the world.
Of all the top 10 boutique investment banks in the world, Lazard could be said to be the oldest and arguably the best. This is because of their 167 years in business. Lazard basically focuses on financial advisory and asset management. Their financial advisory deals with M&A, capital raising, capital structuring, and restructuring.
The most important strength of Lazard is the fact that it is recognised as the oldest; hence it holds certain values and traditions. Their weakness is that they may become complacent as a result of thinking of themselves as the very best.
The Rothschild Global firm is one of the top 10 boutique investment banks that pride themselves to be a creative bank that anyone could ever work with. They consider themselves as an unbiased boutique bank in the world.
Their services specially are focused on financial advisory and strategic advisory, which includes restructuring. They provide deals that range from small and domestic business transactions to the large and across the border business transactions.
A major weakness of Rothschild is the fact that they do not handle very well large deals as good as they handle the small ones. Also, they do not support the handling of individual financial transactions.
Evercore Partners are one of the top 10 boutique investment banks that specially focus on offering two services. They are: investment banking advisory services, and investment management services. The investment banking advisory is more than $2 trillion in declared business transactions. It includes restructurings; divestitures; financings; mergers and acquisitions; et al.
On the other hand, for the investment management services, the assets which are under management make up more than $8 billion. It includes private equity funds, institutional asset management, et al.
The strength of Evercore Partners is the fact that they are well reputed for their execution. Their weakness is that they do not hire from other parts of the world aside Europe and the United States of America.
The services of Greenhill & Co range from the small deals to the large ones. They serve in industrial, energy, technology, utilities and infrastructure, financial services, et al. Their services include mergers and acquisitions, capital advisory, financing and restructuring.
A major strength of Greenhill & Co is the fact that they handle clients from far and near, all the way from Asia to America. Also, their deals range from millions of dollars to billions of dollars. Their weakness is the fact that they have not expanded to handling deals from more developing countries.
The Blackstone is one of the top 10 boutique investment banks in the world whose focus is on the following sectors: real estate, private equity, et al. Blackstone could really be said to be a global investment bank because of the fact that they hire employees from various parts of the globe.
The major strength of the Blackstone is that there is room for one to improve and grow stronger as more programmes are carried out for veterans.
Another top 10 boutique investment bank is Houlihan Lokey. This boutique investment bank specially focuses on financial advisory services; corporate finance; financial restructuring, et al. This is one boutique investment bank that is good at providing excellent services to their clients.
One of the strengths of Houlihan Lokey is the fact that they are great to work and do business with. Their weakness is that they tend to focus on a lot of sectors; hence they may not really be focusing on anyone.
Jefferies & Co is one top 10 boutique investment bank that specially focuses on the following sectors: equity capital market; Debt Capital Markets; Mergers & Acquisitions; Restructuring and Capitalization; Private Capital Advisory, et al. One thing noteworthy of Jefferies & Co is the fact that they hire their employees from the various corners of the world.
The key strength of Jefferies & Co is the manner in which they provide their services to their clients.
A boutique investment bank is small investment bank that specialize in some certain types of sectors or companies. They usually deal on smaller investments or smaller niche, which most of the time are usually below 1 billion dollars. These top tier boutique investment banks are mostly involved in sell-deals (I.e they often help in selling companies as opposed to purchasing a company).
When it comes to mergers, acquisitions, restructuring and reorganizations, boutique investment banks come into full play – that is their primary activity. This is simply due to their small size, which makes capital raising engagements effectively done on a best-effort basis.
MODE OF OPERATION
These banks generally work on smaller deals involving middle-market companies, most especially investments that are less than a billion dollars in revenues. They are mostly specialized in mergers and acquisition of certain industries such as:
1. Health care: Pharmaceutical companies, medical apparatus companies
2. Media: Print, electronics, blogs and websites
4. Manufacturing and so on.
Typically, elite boutique investment banks are limited in their mode of operations as to the number of offices they may have and are most often specialized in a particular geographical region. Hence the moniker “Regional Investment Bank”.
In recent times, organizations have been so ardent in their relationships with new Boutique Investment banks due to the major facts that they are mostly independent in their dealings, they have less conflicts to contend with and coupled with the fact they are relatively small in size.
The working environment at a top Boutique Investment Bank is very much different from that at larger banks. Although the majority of these boutique investment banks are founded by former partners at these larger banks.
During the great recession of the 2000s, there was an exodus of senior partners at the big banks to join the boutique banks, which was kind of synonymous to the merger that was characteristic of the Wall Street in the 70’s and 80’s.
There are many best paying boutique investment banks spread across both the United States and as well internationally. Though they are relatively unknown in the general banking industry, but they are simply a force to reckon within their niche.
List of Boutique Investment Banks
BOUTIQUE INVESTMENT BANKS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
• Akur Partners: www.akur.co.uk
• Alvarez & Marsal: www.alvareandmarsal.co.uk
• Aperios Partners: www.aperiospartners.com
• Arma Partners: www.armapartners.com
• Barber Wadlow: www.barberwadlow.co.uk
• Boenning & Scattergold Group: www.boenninginc.com
• Brewin Dolphin: www.brewin.co.uk
• Brown Brothers Harriman: www.bbh.com
• Cain Brothers: www.cainbrothers.com
• Cairn Financial Advisers: www.cairnfin.com
• Cenkos: www.cenkos.com
• Europa Partners: www.europapartners.com
BOUTIQUE INVESTMENT BANKS IN NEW YORK
• Acadia Capital Advisors
• Adams & Royer Inc
• Adephia Capital, LLC
• Advanced Funding Solutions, LLC
• Aegis Capital Corporation
• AmerAsia Capital Partners, LLC
• Barman Capital LLC
• Barnett & Partners, LLC
• Baron Advisors, LLC
• Baytree Capital Associates, LLC
• Belstone Capital Associates