Monday, May 4, 2009

Boutique Buzz May Be Over

Proclaiming a golden era for boutique investment banks and trading, Bankers at bulge brackets firms were streaming to boutiques, driven by the view that they would be able to make more money there than at a TARP-ridden bank. But banking powerhouses may pay back funds quicker than assumed. And, there are a lot of boutiques out there--like Ondra and Stone Key-to compete with more established Lazard, Perella Weinberg and Greenhill. Breakingviews wonders if there will be enough business to go around. At the same time, the bulge bracket will fight tooth and nail to defend its turf. So the bloom may be off the rose already. The key will be to have a niche, like Banking for KBW.

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