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What to Expect When Moving to an
Elite Financial Boutique
Moving from a large firm, such as a bulge bracket, to a smaller specialized firm, like a
boutique investment bank, requires an employee with the confidence to take a risk, but the
rewards and experience can be worth it. Boutiques offer greater exposure, experience and
have a company culture that places greater value on the individual.
The number of SMEs and start-ups within the financial sector has grown in the past decade,
with fintech and diversifying markets providing opportunities for smaller niche companies to
be established. A trend of senior executives from Big 4 firms moving to smaller and more
agile institutions has followed.
However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that working at a smaller company will be
easier or means you will experience less pressure. Yes, generally the work-life balance is
slightly improved. However, clients seek out boutiques for their specialized services and
exceptional performance - and expectations remain high.
Your Expertise Will Be Front and Center
Resources are precious at a small firm, and it is not possible to blend into the background.
You will be hired for your expertise, and you must be ready to step to the plate - there is
nowhere to hide when a service is stripped down.
An elite service will require extended contact with clients and service users, and your
expertise will be trusted.
You Will Be Working Quickly and Flexibly
A smaller and leaner agency has the ability to adapt to change and pivot fast - fewer
decision-makers mean decisions will be made fast. It is likely you will have larger input into
how the firm works, instead of breaking through layers of management teams and
bureaucracy, wielding more influence.
A leaner outfit can also be a more innovative one, since adapting new technologies and
updating legacy systems will be a significantly smaller task. In the current volatile times,
innovation and speed are key. You must be willing to learn about new technolo