Overview of Investment Banks

Looking to start a career at an investment bank instead? The most important investment banks in the world can be summarized based on their global presence, deal volume, financial services offered, and overall influence in the financial markets. These banks typically play a crucial role in global mergers and acquisitions (M&A), underwriting, financial advisory services, and asset management.

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What is an Investment Bank?

An investment bank is a financial institution that specializes in providing a range of services geared towards high finance by assisting individuals, corporations, and governments in raising capital and providing advisory services on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and other complex financial transactions. Investment banking activities include:

  • Underwriting Services
    Investment banks underwrite new debt and equity securities for all types of corporations, aiding in the sale of securities in the primary market. They help issuers set the price for new security issues and guarantee a minimum amount of sales by purchasing the securities themselves if necessary.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)
    They provide expertise in M&A transactions, advising clients on both the buying and selling sides. This involves valuation, negotiation, structuring deals, and facilitating transactions.
  • Sales and Trading
    Investment banks engage in trading securities (like stocks, bonds, and derivatives) for cash or for the sake of speculation. They also help facilitate trades for institutional and retail investors.
  • Market Making
    They act as market makers by holding inventories of securities and quoting buy and sell prices to other parties.
  • Research
    Investment banks have research divisions that analyze markets, industries, and companies to provide reports and investment recommendations primarily for their clients.
  • Asset Management
    Some investment banks offer asset management services for corporations, governments, and high-net-worth individuals, managing investments according to the client’s investment strategy and risk tolerance.
  • Advisory Services
    They provide strategic advisory services for mergers, acquisitions, divestiture, or other financial services for clients, such as the trading of derivatives, fixed income, foreign exchange, commodity, and equity securities.
  • Risk Management
    Offering advice on risk management and strategies to mitigate financial risk exposure due to market fluctuations.
Investment banks

List of Investment Banks per Country - Headquarters

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