Boutique investment firms and top hedge funds around the world are snapping up top investment bankers who have been let go or had their bonuses cut at big banks.
Reuters reports that many of these smaller firms still have substantial assets under management. They are looking to pick up rainmakers from bulge bracket firms, particularly in trading and sales. The article mentions that Singapore’s largest hedge fund, Artradis, has hired a high-profile risk trader from RBS along with a New York-based Credit Suisse executive. Investment advisory firm Fox-Pitt Kelton recently picked up five people from banks such as Merrill Lynch and HSBC to focus on Asia.
“It’s possible for boutiques to actually hire top talent, which was almost impossible for them while the market was going ballistic from 2005 to the middle of last year,” said Thomas Hester, head of equity at Fox-Pitt Kelton.
Many boutique banks have been able to weather the current crisis better than their bulge-bracket brethren. They have attracted new clients looking for independent advice, and many of the firms have avoided the kind of big, leveraged bets on risky credit products that brought down the bigger banks.
The rise of the boutiques has also served to diversify investment banking to smaller financial centers around the world, including Mumbia, India.