Former Wall Streeters also tend to bring clients with larger net worth — another potential long-term blow to firms trying to recover from the meltdown — so boutiques and middle market firms stand to reap the profits. In turn they deliver something that's currently elusive on Wall Street: stability. Jobs in the financial sector can pay anywhere from $100,000 to well into the seven-figure range depending on location, experience and the size of a firm, said Kimberly Bishop, vice chairman of Slayton Search partners, a Chicago-based headhunting firm. "There's some talent available to some companies that wasn't available before," she said.
Wall Street workers who are thinking about relocating need to be flexible about income, Bishop said. Some junior Wall Street workers may be able to get more senior positions in smaller firms, getting comparable or better pay. But many more will make less while benefiting from a cheaper cost of living outside of New York City.