Boutique Investment Banking: Who Are the New Players?

Jul 1, 2009

With the investment banking model under siege, entrepreneurs see an opportunity to fill a void in sellside service. An oversupply of available talent helps drive the process.

by Dan Shirai

Ziriux and Zagax may sound like the latest pharmaceutical breakthroughs, but they and other start-up banking boutiques are springing up from the wreckage of Wall Street, hoping to cure LatAm clients’ headaches. Whether emerging from scratch or partnering up, independent dealmakers are capitalizing on wholesale condemnation of a model that has rewarded misguided risk-taking and conflict of interest.

Some have launched pure-play financial advisory boutiques, sticking with a method that has tended to work for those with a little gray hair and a long list of loyal contacts. More ambitious projects involve obtaining banking licenses to set up full service shops.

Many are sprouting up from collections of bankers turfed out by Wall Street, who traditionally might have gone to hedge funds, which themselves are in trouble. In all cases, the freedom of operating without the burden of existing losses or government intervention provides an...

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