Where can investment bankers continue to seek their fortunes if they still want to stay in the industry? Gary Goldstein, founder of the Wall Street recruiting firm Whitney Partners, had this advice in a recent article posted by Deal Journal:
1. Capital markets boutiques. Companies such as Friedman Billings Ramsey and Raymond James are still doing investment banking, though on a smaller scale. As we’ve mentioned before, many of these boutiques are focusing on the middle market, working on stock offerings, M&A, trading and research for companies in the $20 million to $800 million range. According to Goldstein, they can be lucrative places for bankers who bring in big fees, since bankers get to keep up to 40% of what they land. Some other mid-market boutiques mentioned include Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin and Jefferies & Co.
2. Number two on Goldstein’s list are advisory boutiques such as Greenhill, Evercore Partners, Moelis & Co. and Perella Weinberg. He says these firms are already packed with refugees from Morgan Stanley, Goldman and other bulge bracket banks. The 20 to 30 firms in this category may be a good choice for someone with decades of experience in the industry. They’re set up as partnerships and often give partners a chance to earn more money through private investing opportunities in real estate, private equity and other businesses.
3. Finally, Goldstein recommends alternative investment houses, such as Blackstone Group, Citadel and Oaktree Capital Management. Many of these firms started as private investment funds and grew to include advisory work, distressed debt investing, lending and other businesses. They may be looking to expand their capital markets advisory business in the years ahead.
The good news? Investment banking jobs for Wall Street veterans do exist, though in much more targeted and selective areas.