The following list catalogues the largest, most profitable, and otherwise notable investment banks. This list of investment banks notes full-service banks, financial conglomerates, independent investment banks, private placement firms and notable acquired, merged, or bankrupt investment banks. As an industry it is broken up into the Bulge Bracket (upper tier), Middle Market (mid-level businesses), and boutique market (specialized businesses).
An investment bank is a financial services company or corporate division that engages in advisory-based financial transactions on behalf of individuals, corporations, and governments. Traditionally associated with corporate finance, such a bank might assist in raising financial capital by underwriting or acting as the client's agent in the issuance of securities. An investment bank may also assist companies involved in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and provide ancillary services such as market making, trading of derivatives and equity securities, and FICC services. Most investment banks maintain prime brokerage and asset management departments in conjunction with their investment research businesses. As an industry, it is broken up into the Bulge Bracket, Middle Market, and boutique market.
A conglomerate is a combination of multiple business entities operating in entirely different industries under one corporate group, usually involving a parent company and many subsidiaries. Often, a conglomerate is a multi-industry company. Conglomerates are often large and multinational.
Private placement is a funding round of securities which are sold not through a public offering, but rather through a private offering, mostly to a small number of chosen investors.
The following are the largest full-service global investment banks; full-service investment banks usually provide both advisory and financing banking services, as well as sales, market making, and research on a broad array of financial products, including equities, credit, rates, currency, commodities, and their derivatives. The largest investment banks are noted with the following:
A market maker or liquidity provider is a company or an individual that quotes both a buy and a sell price in a financial instrument or commodity held in inventory, hoping to make a profit on the bid-offer spread, or turn. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission defines a "market maker" as a firm that stands ready to buy and sell stock on a regular and continuous basis at a publicly quoted price.
The stock of a corporation is all of the shares into which ownership of the corporation is divided. In American English, the shares are commonly known as "stocks." A single share of the stock represents fractional ownership of the corporation in proportion to the total number of shares. This typically entitles the stockholder to that fraction of the company's earnings, proceeds from liquidation of assets, or voting power, often dividing these up in proportion to the amount of money each stockholder has invested. Not all stock is necessarily equal, as certain classes of stock may be issued for example without voting rights, with enhanced voting rights, or with a certain priority to receive profits or liquidation proceeds before or after other classes of shareholders.
Credit is the trust which allows one party to provide money or resources to another party wherein the second party does not reimburse the first party immediately, but promises either to repay or return those resources at a later date. In other words, credit is a method of making reciprocity formal, legally enforceable, and extensible to a large group of unrelated people.
Many of the largest investment banks are considered among the "Bulge Bracket banks" and as such underwrite the majority of financial transactions in the world.Additionally, banks seeking more deal flow with smaller-sized deals with comparable profitability are known as "Middle Market investment banks" (known as boutique or independent investment banks).
The group of Bulge Bracket banks comprises the world's largest multi-national investment banks whose investment banking clients are usually large corporations, institutions, and governments. There is no definitive list of Bulge Bracket banks.
Underwriting services are provided by some large financial institutions, such as banks, or insurance or investment houses, whereby they guarantee payment in case of damage or financial loss and accept the financial risk for liability arising from such guarantee. An underwriting arrangement may be created in a number of situations including insurance, issue of securities in a public offering, and bank lending, among others. The person or institution that agrees to sell a minimum number of securities of the company for commission is called the underwriter.
A financial transaction is an agreement, or communication, carried out between a buyer and a seller to exchange an asset for payment.
Large financial-services conglomerates combine commercial banking, investment banking, and sometimes insurance. Such combinations were common in Europe but illegal in the United States prior to the passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. The following are large investment banking firms (not listed above) that are affiliated with large financial institutions:
Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management, primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent or uncertain loss.
ABN AMRO Bank N.V. is a Dutch bank with headquarters in Amsterdam. ABN AMRO Bank is the third-largest bank in the Netherlands. It was re-established in its current form in 2009, following the acquisition and break-up of the original ABN AMRO by a banking consortium consisting of Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Santander Group and Fortis. Following the collapse of Fortis, who acquired the Dutch business, it was nationalized by the Dutch government along with Fortis Bank Nederland. It was relisted as a public company again in 2015.
Bradesco is one of the biggest banking and financial services companies in Brazil. Bradesco was the largest private bank in Brazil until Banco Itaú and Unibanco merged in 2009. Bradesco is headquartered in the city of Osasco, in the metropolitan area of São Paulo, at Companhia Cidade de Deus, and has 5,314 branches, 4,834 Service Branches and 38,430 “Bradesco Expresso” Units, the correspondent bank through partnerships with supermarkets, drugstores, department stores and other retail chains. It is currently the third largest Brazilian bank by total assets. The bank is the world’s thirtysecond largest in market capitalization in 2014.
Banco Santander, S.A., doing business as Santander Group, is a Spanish multinational commercial bank and financial services company founded and based in Santander, Spain. In addition to hubs in Madrid and Barcelona, Santander maintains a presence in all global financial centres as the largest Spanish banking institution in the world. Although known for its European banking operations, it has extended operations across North and South America, and more recently in continental Asia.
Private placement agents, including firms that specialize in fundraising for private equity funds:
A Private placement agent or placement agent is a firm assisting fund managers in the alternative asset class and entrepreneurs/private companies seeking to raise private financing through a so-called private placement.
A private equity fund is a collective investment scheme used for making investments in various equity securities according to one of the investment strategies associated with private equity. Private equity funds are typically limited partnerships with a fixed term of 10 years. At inception, institutional investors make an unfunded commitment to the limited partnership, which is then drawn over the term of the fund. From the investors' point of view, funds can be traditional or asymmetric.
The following are notable investment banking and brokerage firms that have been liquidated, acquired or merged and no longer operate under the same name.
|Alex. Brown & Sons||ultimately part of Deutsche Bank, survives as minor business unit|
|A.G. Becker & Co.||acquired by Merrill Lynch in 1984|
|A.G. Edwards||acquired by Wachovia in 2007|
|The Argosy Group||acquired by Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in 1995|
|Babcock & Brown||collapsed 2009, liquidation of its assets|
|BancAmerica Robertson Stephens||acquired by NationsBank in 1998 and integrated into NationsBanc Montgomery Securities to form Banc of America Securities.|
|Barings||collapsed 1995; assets acquired by ING Bank|
|Bear Stearns||collapsed 2008; assets acquired by JPMorgan Chase|
|Bowles Hollowell Connor & Co.||acquired by First Union in 1998|
|Blyth, Eastman Dillon & Co.||merged with Paine Webber in 1979|
|Brown Bros. & Co.||merged with Harriman Brothers & Company to form Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.|
|BT Alex. Brown||acquired by Deutsche Bank to form Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown|
|C.E. Unterberg, Towbin||acquired by Collins Stewart in 2007|
|Commodities Corporation||acquired by Goldman Sachs and renamed Goldman Sachs Princeton in 1997|
|Dain Rauscher Wessels||bought by Royal Bank of Canada in 2000|
|Dean Witter Reynolds||merged with Morgan Stanley to form Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, subsequently the Dean Witter name was eliminated|
|Dillon, Read & Company||acquired by Swiss Bank Corporation, and is ultimately part of UBS AG|
|Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette||acquired by Credit Suisse in 2001|
|Drexel Burnham Lambert||liquidated 1990|
|E.F. Hutton & Co.||acquired by Shearson Lehman/American Express in 1988, ultimately part of Lehman Brothers|
|First Boston Corporation||merged with Credit Suisse in 1988 to form CS First Boston, renamed "Credit Suisse First Boston" in 1996 and "Credit Suisse" in 2006|
|First Union Securities||acquired by Wachovia in 2002 to form Wachovia Securities|
|G.H. Walker & Co.||acquired by White Weld & Co and ultimately part of Merrill Lynch|
|Giuliani Capital Advisors||the investment banking division of Giuliani Partners was sold to Macquarie Group in 2007|
|Goodbody & Co.||merged into Merrill Lynch in 1970|
|Gruntal & Co.||acquired by Ryan Beck & Co. in 2002|
|H.B. Hollins & Co.||liquidated in 1913|
|Halsey, Stuart & Co.||ultimately part of Wachovia|
|Hambrecht & Quist||acquired by Chase Manhattan Bank and ultimately part of JPMorgan Chase. H&Q name continues as investment advisor|
|Hambros Bank||acquired by Société Générale|
|Hayden, Stone & Co.||acquired Shearson Hammill & Co. in 1974 and assumed the Shearson name. Ultimately acquired by American Express in 1981|
|Harriman Brothers & Company||merged with Brown Bros. & Co. to form Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.|
|HBOS||acquired by Lloyds TSB to form the Lloyds Banking Group in 2009|
|Hill Samuel||acquired by Trustee Savings Bank (TSB) in 1987 later Lloyds TSB|
|Hornblower & Weeks||investment bank acquired by Loeb, Rhoades & Co. and ultimately part of Shearson/American Express|
|J.&W. Seligman & Co.||investment bank ultimately part of UBS AG; continues as asset manager|
|J.C. Bradford & Co.||acquired by PaineWebber in 2000, ultimately part of UBS AG|
|John Nuveen & Co.||IBD acquired by Piper Jaffray in 1999; company continues as asset management house under Nuveen Investments, which is controlled by private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners|
|Keefe, Bruyette & Woods||acquired by Stifel in 2012, still maintain independent branding|
|Kidder, Peabody & Co.||acquired by General Electric Corporation in 1986, subsequently resold to PaineWebber in 1994 and ultimately part of UBS AG|
|Kleinwort Benson||acquired by Dresdner Bank in 1995|
|Kuhn, Loeb & Co.||ultimately part of Lehman Brothers|
|Llama Company||ultimately defunct after departure of Alice Walton|
|L.F. Rothschild||ultimately part of C.E. Unterberg, Towbin, with parts sold to Oppenheimer‘‘not to be confused with N.M. Rothschild, Rothschild Group; see Rothschild family|
|Lee, Higginson & Co.||liquidated 1932|
|Lehman Brothers||bankrupt in 2008, asset sold to Barclays Capital and Nomura Holdings|
|Loeb, Rhoades & Co.||acquired by Shearson Hammill & Co. to form Shearson Loeb Rhoades in 1979 which was later acquired by American Express in 1981 to form Shearson/American Express|
|McColl Partners||acquired by Deloitte in 2013 to form Deloitte Corporate Finance|
|Mendelssohn & Co.||aryanized by the Nazis in 1938, sold in parts to Deutsche Bank|
|Merrill Lynch & Co.||acquired by Bank of America in 2008 and integrated into Banc of America Securities to form Bank of America Merrill Lynch|
|Miller Buckfire & Co.||acquired by Stifel in 2012, still maintains independent branding|
|Montgomery Securities||acquired by NationsBank in 1997 and integrated into NationsBanc Capital Markets to form NationsBanc Montgomery Securities|
|Morgan & Cie||acquired by Morgan Stanley in 1967 and incorporated as Morgan et Compagnie International in Morgan Stanley International Incorporated in 1975|
|Morgan Grenfell||acquired by Deutsche Bank in 1990|
|Morgan, Harjes & Co.||renamed Morgan & Cie in 1926 and acquired by Morgan Stanley in 1926|
|Paine Webber||acquired by UBS AG|
|Park Ryan||liquidated 1979|
|Prudential Securities||acquired by Wachovia in 2003|
|Reynolds Securities||merged with Dean Witter & Co. to form Dean Witter Reynolds, subsequently merged with Morgan Stanley|
|Robert Fleming & Co.||acquired by JPMorgan Chase|
|Robertson Stephens||acquired by BankAmerica in 1997 and integrated into BancAmerica Securities to form BancAmerica Robertson Stephens. Sold again in 1998 to BankBoston (later FleetBoston Financial and would operate as Robertson Stephens from 1998–2002, when the firm was shuttered after the collapse of the Internet bubble|
|Roosevelt & Son||Broken up into three firms in 1934: Roosevelt & Son (liquidated), Roosevelt & Weigold (today operates as Roosevelt & Cross); and Dick & Merle Smith|
|Ryan Beck & Co.||acquired by Stifel in 2007|
|S. G. Warburg & Co||ultimately part of UBS AG; not to be confused with M.M. Warburg or Warburg Pincus; see Warburg family|
|Salomon Brothers||acquired by Travelers Group in 1997, ultimately part of Citigroup|
|Schroders||investment bank bought by Citigroup; continues as asset manager|
|Shearson/American Express||acquired Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb in 1984 to form Shearson Lehman/American Express, later Shearson Lehman Hutton and Shearson Lehman Brothers|
|Shearson, Hammill & Co.||renamed Shearson Loeb Rhoades after the 1979 acquisition of Loeb, Rhoades & Co. in 1979. Acquired by American Express in 1981 to form Shearson/American Express|
|Shearson Lehman Hutton||renamed Shearson Lehman Brothers in 1990 and split up in 1993 with the IPO of Lehman Brothers and the sale of the retail and brokerage operations to Primerica|
|Soundview Technology Group||ultimately part of Charles Schwab|
|Swiss Bank Corporation||merged with Union Bank of Switzerland to form UBS AG|
|Union Bank of Switzerland||merged with Swiss Bank Corporation to form UBS AG|
|Wachovia Securities||acquired by Wells Fargo in 2008 and renamed Wells Fargo Securities|
|Wasserstein Perella & Co.||bought by Dresdner Bank|
|Wertheim & Co.||acquired by Schroders, and ultimately by Salomon Smith Barney|
|White Weld & Co.||bought by Merrill Lynch|
|Wood Gundy||acquired by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in 1987, operating as CIBC Wood Gundy before becoming CIBC World Markets in 1997|
Sandler O'Neill + Partners, L.P., is a full-service investment banking firm and broker-dealer specializing in the financial services sector. It is headquartered in New York City, and has offices in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Atlanta. The firm also operates a mortgage finance company and registered investment adviser based in Memphis.
Financial services are the economic services provided by the finance industry, which encompasses a broad range of businesses that manage money, including credit unions, banks, credit-card companies, insurance companies, accountancy companies, consumer-finance companies, stock brokerages, investment funds, individual managers and some government-sponsored enterprises. Financial services companies are present in all economically developed geographic locations and tend to cluster in local, national, regional and international financial centers such as London, New York City, and Tokyo.
Ping An Insurance known also as Ping An of China, full name Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. is a Chinese holding conglomerate whose subsidiaries mainly deal with insurance, banking, and financial services. The company was founded in 1988 and has its headquarters in Shenzhen. "Ping An" literally means "safe and well".
Korea Development Bank is a wholly state-owned policy bank in South Korea. It was founded in 1954 in accordance with The Korea Development Bank Act to finance and manage major industrial projects to expedite industrial development and enhance the national economy. As Korea's representative development financing bank, No. 1 arranger in Asia-Pacific project finance market and leader of domestic capital market, KDB has fostered the growth and heightened the competitiveness of strategic industries by meeting their changing financial needs. Following public policy, KDB facilitates the management normalization of troubled companies through corporate restructuring and consulting services, and provides capital for strategic regional development projects.
Stifel Financial Corp. is an American multinational independent investment bank and financial services company created under its present name in July 1983 and listed on the New York Stock Exchange on November 24, 1986. Its predecessor company was founded in 1890 as the Altheimer and Rawlings Investment Company and is headquartered in downtown St. Louis, Missouri.
ABN AMRO Group N.V. is a Dutch bank group, consisting of ABN AMRO Netherlands, ABN AMRO Private Banking, the International Diamond and Jewelry Group, and Fortis Bank Netherlands.
Houlihan Lokey, Inc., is American multinational independent investment bank and financial services company. Houlihan Lokey was founded in 1972 and is headquartered at Constellation Place in Century City, Los Angeles, California. The firm advises large public and closely held companies as well as institutions and governments. Its main service lines include mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, restructuring and distressed M&A, fairness opinions, valuations, and strategic consulting. As of May 31, 2018, Houlihan Lokey employed more than 1,300 employees worldwide.
Union Bancaire Privée was founded in 1969 by Edgar de Picciotto. It is one of the most highly capitalized private banks, and a major player in the field of wealth management in Switzerland with CHF 126.8 billion of assets under management.
TD Securities is a Canadian investment bank and financial services provider that offers advisory and capital market services to corporate, government, and institutional clients worldwide. The firm provides services in corporate and investment banking, capital markets, and global transaction services. It is the investment bank of Toronto-Dominion Bank Group, and has offices in 18 cities worldwide with over 3,000 employees.
Banco Santander Brasil is a subsidiary of Banco Santander in Brazil, its largest division in Latin America and one of the world's most important, accounting for 50% of the total profit of the group. The bank was founded in 1982 in São Paulo, where its headquarters are located.
BMO Capital Markets is the investment banking subsidiary of Canadian Bank of Montreal. The company offers corporate, institutional and government clients access to a range of financial services. These include equity and debt underwriting, corporate lending and project financing, merger and acquisitions advisory services, securitization, treasury management, market risk management, debt and equity research and institutional sales and trading.
A boutique investment bank is a non-full service investment bank that specializes in at least one aspect of investment banking, generally corporate finance, although some banks are retail in nature, such as Charles Schwab or Allen & Co. Of those involved in corporate finance, capital raising, mergers and acquisitions and restructuring and reorganizations are their primary activities. Due to their smaller size, capital raising engagements are usually done on a best-efforts basis.
BG Capital is a full-service investment firm in the Frontier Markets of the former Soviet Union with key operations in Ukraine, Georgia, and Belarus. Headquartered in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, BG Capital offers a range of investment-related services, including equity and fixed income brokerage, research, equity and debt capital-raising, investment banking, and asset management.
Gruntal & Co. was a boutique investment banking and brokerage firm based in New York City. Prior to its acquisition in 2002, the firm was among the oldest independent investment banking houses in the U.S. The firm was founded as Sternberger & Fuld in 1880 by Maurice Sternberger, who partnered with Ludwig Fuld. Sternberger bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange in 1881 for $20,000. They were joined in 1884 by a third partner, Samuel Sinn, and the firm became Sternberger, Fuld & Sinn, with an office at 52 Broadway in lower Manhattan.
Eaton Partners is a global placement agent that assists in raising capital for funds managed by some of the largest private equity firms, hedge funds, real assets and real estate funds in the world. The firm is also one of the oldest placement agents in the private funds industry. Eaton Partners raises capital primarily from institutional investors including private and public pension funds, endowment funds, family offices, fund of funds, foundations and other large pools of money that invest in alternative asset classes. In 2009, the Wall Street Journal, citing a Preqin Ltd. league table, ranked them eighth among independent private funds placement agents.
NatWest Markets is the investment banking arm of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group. It was created from the Group's corporate and institutional banking division in 2016, as part of a structural reform intended to comply with the requirements of the Financial Services Act 2013 and to give the NatWest brand greater prominence. The Act implements the Independent Commission on Banking recommendation that domestic retail banking should be "ring-fenced" from riskier trading activities by 2019. The ring-fenced group, NatWest Holdings, was created at the same time.