As his peers in larger financial institutions are dealing with collapsing stock prices and laying off tens of thousands, the chief executive at boutique investment firm Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ) said he believes smaller, more nimble investment banks like his are likely to benefit from trends developing on Wall Street.

Speaking at a Goldman Sachs-sponsored banking conference in New York, Lazard CEO Ken Jacobs said he believes various recent developments, in particular bankers' understanding that they should begin to accept relatively lower pay, will benefit smaller firms, which generally spend a larger ratio of their revenues on compensation.

Changes in the Street's appetite for risk, leveraging capabilities and higher capital requirements would also hurt larger banks, opening up opportunities for firms like his, the chief executive noted.

While he didn't specify this, the changes are also likely to help some of his smaller competitors, including Jefferies Group Inc. (NYSE:JEF), Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE:PJC), Evercore Partners Inc. (NYSE:EVR).

"I think we're kind of stuck with this environment," Jacobs said at the conference, according to the Dow Jones Newswires.

The speech came a day after the bank head appeared on Bloomberg TV, where he sounded a similar note and, talking about the current crisis, insisted the most likely outcome was one where developments kept see-sawing without significant improvements.

"Assuming we get through this crisis without a discontinuity, a break in the markets, a catastrophe, then next year probably looks a lot like this year did: modest economic growth in the United States, tough economic climate in Europe, and probably a decent story continuing in the emerging markets," Jacobs said to Bloomberg, adding that if the situation in Europe worsened, "all bets are off."