Indicative of their growth, the boutiques have been hiring at an impressive rate. Greenhill, for example, has added 26 managing directors in its advisory unit in the last 18 months, a 93% jump in head count. Its revenue per employee has fallen to around $900,000 from a high of $1.93 million in 2007, but it still remains higher than all its rivals except for Goldman.
Another trend favoring the boutiques is that they all have expertise in restructuring, a trade very much in demand at the moment and one that is difficult for larger banks to ply because, as lenders to struggling companies, they are often conflicted.
The emphasis on improved corporate governance has also favored the boutiques, according to JMP's Hecht.
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