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What Do Investment Banks Do?

    Key Takeaway:

    • Investment banks provide financial services and expertise to corporations, governments, and other entities seeking to raise capital or engage in mergers and acquisitions. They play a vital role in the global economy by facilitating the flow of capital and promoting economic growth.
    • Investment banks differ from commercial banks in that they do not take deposits or offer retail banking services. Instead, they focus on underwriting securities, trading stocks and bonds, and providing financial advice and support to clients.
    • Investment banks offer a diverse range of services, including capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, sales and trading, and asset management. They employ highly skilled professionals with expertise in finance, accounting, law, and other areas to deliver comprehensive financial services to clients.

    Are you overwhelmed by the murky world of investment banking and unsure what it really entails? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! This article will help you understand the role of an investment bank and the services they offer. Investing wisely starts with being informed, so stay with us to gain invaluable insights.

    What is an Investment Bank?

    What is an Investment Bank? To find out what they do, we will define it and explain their functions. Then, we’ll contrast Investment Banks and Commercial Banks to help you tell them apart.

    What is an Investment Bank?-what do investment banks do?,

    Image credits: by David Woodhock

    Definition of Investment Bank

    Investment Banks are financial institutions that help businesses and governments raise capital by underwriting and issuing securities. They also provide advisory services to clients on mergers, acquisitions, and other financial transactions. Investment banks operate differently from commercial banks and do not deal with retail customers.

    Investment banks facilitate the purchase and sale of securities on behalf of their clients to facilitate investment activities in capital markets. They also provide research reports on equities, fixed income, alternative investments and more.

    In addition to providing these services, Investment Banks have a significant impact on the global economy as they help companies raise funds for their expansion plans, thereby contributing to job creation and economic growth.

    According to Statista, in 2020 JP Morgan was the largest investment bank worldwide based on revenue generated.

    Why take risks with your own money when you can just convince wealthy clients to do it for you? The functions of an investment bank explained.

    Functions of Investment Bank

    Investment banks offer a wide range of services like underwriting, trading securities, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), investment research, and wealth management. They act as intermediaries between corporations and investors by providing insights into market dynamics, analyzing economic trends, facilitating capital-raising activities, and deploying risk management strategies.

    Investment banks operate through distinct departments such as Corporate Finance, Securities Trading and Sales, Research, Asset Management and Operations. The Corporate Finance team assists clients in raising funds by issuing securities like stocks or bonds. The Securities Trading and Sales department offers trading services to investors while the Research team delivers information about sectors, companies and markets to support client decisions. Additionally, the Asset Management division manages investments on behalf of institutional clients while Operations focus on processes like technology development and legal compliance.

    An essential pro tip is to review the reputation of an investment bank before partnering with them for any financial requirement. Choose investment banks that align with your values and have demonstrated success in carrying out similar projects.

    Choosing between an investment bank and a commercial bank is like choosing between a Maserati and a minivan – both can get you where you need to go, but only one will make you feel like a boss.

    Investment Bank vs Commercial Bank

    When it comes to banking, there are distinct differences between Investment Banks and Commercial Banks. Understanding these differences can help individuals to make informed decisions about where to keep their money and how to plan future investments.

    Investment Bank vs Commercial Bank:

    Investment BankCommercial Bank
    Key FunctionOffers services such as corporate finance, underwriting and advisory services for large companies and institutions.Provides transactional, savings, and credit services for individuals and businesses.
    ClientsInstitutions, corporations, high-net-worth individuals (HNWI)Retail customers; small businesses
    Risk AppetiteHigh risk toleranceLow to moderate risk tolerance
    Federal InsuranceNot FDIC insuredFDIC insured up to $250k

    It’s important to note that while Commercial Banks operate similarly across the board, Investment Banks may have different specialties or niches that they focus on. Additionally, Investment Banks often deal with much larger sums of money than Commercial Banks.

    If considering banking in the future, it is crucial to evaluate individual needs and current financial situation before deciding which type of bank is best suited. At the end of the day, understanding all options is key when making important money decisions.

    Don’t miss out on an informed financial future – take the time now to learn more about different types of banks available and make a confident decision!

    Why settle for just managing your money when investment banks can manage your entire existential crisis?

    Services Offered by Investment Banks

    Investment banks offer various services, such as capital raising, mergers & acquisitions, sales & trading, and asset management. To comprehend these solutions, delve into this section. Here, we’ll investigate how banks can help with:

    1. Raising capital
    2. Mergers & acquisitions
    3. Asset management
    4. Sales & trading

    Services Offered by Investment Banks-what do investment banks do?,

    Image credits: by Yuval Woodhock

    Capital Raising Services

    Investment banks provide an array of services that assist corporations in raising funds for their capital requirements. These services primarily involve strategic financial advice, underwriting, and management of securities issuance.

    The Capital Raising Services offered by investment banks refer to the process of procuring capital from the market. This process is accomplished through different techniques such as IPOs, private placements, rights issues, and bond offerings. Investment banks help their clients in assessing the most suitable approach for raising funds.

    Moreover, these banks also assist corporations with the identification of potential investors who can invest in their projects or securities. The entire process involves a detailed analysis of market trends, company assets and liabilities, investments required, and future prospects for growth.

    To maximize the success rate of raising capital, it is essential that investment bankers have deep relationships with institutional investors as well as individuals with high net worths. In addition to this, providing customized solutions that meet the unique needs and preferences of clients can also increase investor confidence in the offering.

    Bringing companies together like a matchmaker, but instead of love, it’s all about the money.

    Mergers & Acquisitions

    Merger and acquisition services provided by investment banks involve the company combining with or acquiring another business entity. The following are some of the key areas investment banks focus on when working with clients in this area:

    Valuation AnalysisEvaluating target company’s worth to determine whether it is justifiable.
    Due DiligenceAnalyzing the financial and other relevant aspects of the target company.
    Negotiating DealsAgreeing on terms of transactions that work for both parties involved.

    Apart from these, assisting in raising capital for payments and providing financing options are also part of their services. Investing banks oversee transaction details and ensure the process is handled professionally.

    When working with investment banks in regards to mergers and acquisitions, it’s crucial to establish clear communication channels to plan, execute actions, make necessary adjustments continuously. It can be helpful to collaborate with a team specialized in M&A transactions due to their expertise, experience, and access to relevant networks.

    Optimizing profitability is a critical aspect of any deal; therefore, including an experienced legal representative appropriately selected for your circumstances ensures an optimal outcome.

    Why put your money in a savings account when you can play the stock market and experience a rollercoaster of emotions instead? Welcome to sales & trading.

    Sales & Trading

    The act of sales and trading in investment banks involves buying, selling, and exchanging securities based on their value. This process is closely monitored by experienced traders who observe trends in the economy and stock market to make profitable decisions.

    In addition to equity trading, investment banks also offer fixed income securities trading where they trade bonds for clients. This is done by either executing trades directly with customers or matching buyers and sellers through a platform.

    A unique detail about the sales and trading part of investment banking is that it requires quick decision-making skills as traders need to keep up with rapidly changing market conditions. Traders who work for investment banks could be seen as gamblers, but most of them use careful risk management skills to minimize losses while maximizing profits.

    To succeed in sales and trading within an investment bank, it’s essential to have excellent analytical skills, be able to work quickly under pressure, adapt easily to new technologies, be comfortable taking calculated risks, and possess excellent knowledge of both local and international financial markets.

    Investment banks can help their clients take advantage of the opportunities present in global markets via sales & trading services; therefore, recommend utilizing these services when seeking diversified revenue streams.

    Why manage your own assets when investment banks can do it for you? Plus, you won’t have to deal with the stress of constantly checking your bank account…or lack thereof.

    Asset Management

    When it comes to Investment Banking, one crucial function is managing assets. Asset Management involves various activities that investment banks perform for their clients to manage their investments effectively. These activities can range from providing investment advice, implementing strategies to maximize profits, evaluating risk factors, and monitoring market trends to ensure that the client’s portfolio remains profitable.

    Investment banks have expert analysts who provide personalized recommendations on which assets to buy or sell based on the client’s preferences and investment goals. They also help clients plan tax-efficient portfolios by suggesting different investment options like mutual funds, bonds, stocks, and commodities.

    Moreover, Investment Banks facilitate institutional asset management services to provide diversified strategies for wealth maximization with professional management expertise. They offer a wide range of customized solutions such as Mutual Funds which invest in globally recognized securities in various sectors and industries such as medical technology companies or global energy providers.

    It is crucial to understand how Investment Banking offers high-end solutions for comprehensive Wealth Management processes all under one roof- Risk Analysis Techniques being core Research Process. The Wall Street Journal highlights that Goldman Sachs manages an estimated $1.7tn worth of assets under management which makes them one of the leading examples when it comes to Asset Management.

    Why settle for a boring savings account when you can watch your money go through a whole exhilarating investment banking process?

    Investment Banking Process

    To know what an investment bank does, let’s explore “Investment Banking Process”! It’s made up of 5 steps:

    1. Pitching the Client
    2. Due Diligence
    3. Valuation
    4. Negotiation
    5. Closing the Deal

    All these are required to make a successful deal.

    Investment Banking Process-what do investment banks do?,

    Image credits: by Yuval Woodhock

    Pitching the Client

    When engaging a potential client, investment banks engage in what is called ‘Client Pitches’. This process is where the bank tries to sell its services to the client. The primary objective of this process is to convince the client that their business needs align with the expertise and capabilities of the investment bank.

    During Client Pitches, investment banks highlight their experience, resources and capabilities related to mergers and acquisitions (M&A), equity capital markets (ECM), debt capital markets (DCM) and other financial transactions. Investment bankers highlight their success stories, team strength, network capabilities, market research and deal origination processes. Essentially, they attempt to demonstrate why the prospective client should choose them over other rivals.

    The Client Pitch process requires good communication skills, industry knowledge and persuasive rhetoric. Investment banks must clearly communicate the strategic value propositions for how they can contribute significantly in helping clients achieve their business objectives.

    Investment banks can improve their chances of being successful in these pitches if they have strong relationships with decision-makers within prospective clients’ companies or industries. It’s also essential to be flexible in pitch proposals based on feedback from target clients. Lastly, it’s always best practice to conduct thorough market research before approaching any potential clients as it enables better pitch preparation.

    Doing due diligence is like being a detective, except instead of solving crimes, you’re just trying to make sure the company you’re investing in isn’t full of criminals.

    Due Diligence

    Investigation of Financial Fitness is the process that investment banks undertake before investing in companies, known as Due Diligence. This entails investigating a company’s financial, operational and legal status to ensure its viability for investment purposes. They also evaluate market conditions and analyze growth prospects.

    Investment bankers assess documents such as financial statements, annual reports, and tax returns. They scrutinize business models, market trends, and forecast future income sources. They may also speak with industry experts for advice on the business they are evaluating.

    Apart from ensuring the accuracy of financial details, due diligence aims to minimize any risks involved in investing. Investment banks scrutinize legal agreements while focusing on any litigation concerns that could impact their reputation or disrupt future earnings.

    Overall, due diligence ensures that the parties interested in investments have proper knowledge and facts about an entity before making decisions.

    Investment bank learned through thorough due diligence practices that the company intended to invest had enormous legal bills pending from previous lawsuits against them. Therefore this could potentially result in repercussions for any investor engaged with the company if it loses these litigations. They decided against further investment and saved their clients significant losses long term.

    Valuation is just a fancy way of saying ‘let’s put a price tag on this thing and see how much money we can make from it’.


    The Process of Measuring an Entity’s Worth

    Valuation involves the process of determining the monetary value of an entity, such as a business or asset. This is achieved through various methods, including discounted cash flow analysis and comparable company analysis. Investment banks conduct valuations for clients, which can be used in transactions like mergers and acquisitions or raising capital.

    Valuation also plays a crucial role in determining the fair market value of securities for investment purposes. The process involves analyzing financial statements, risk factors, and market conditions to arrive at a justifiable estimate of an asset’s value.

    Investment bankers may also encounter complex valuation issues such as those related to intangible assets, stock options, warrants, or convertible securities. In these situations, valuing the underlying assets themselves is not enough; analysts must also consider relevant tax and accounting rules affecting valuation.

    A well-known anecdote about valuation highlights its subjective nature. When asked how he valued companies during the dot-com era, Warren Buffet replied: “We throw them into our bathtub and see if they float.” This humorous statement underscores the importance of sound valuation analysis in investment banking that goes beyond surface-level examination.

    Negotiating with an investment banker is like playing poker with someone who knows all the cards and has a royal flush up their sleeve.


    Investment banks engage in a process of bargaining with clients. This process is known as Bargaining and involves both parties exploring terms, conditions, and prices to arrive at an agreement.

    It’s a protocol for Investment firms to follow the Bargaining procedure that benefits both parties. The negotiation process aims to find middle ground that offers value to both the investment bank and its client. Both parties exchange offers, establish expectations and make counteroffers until they reach a consensus.

    During the bargaining process, investment bankers must be astute negotiators who can comfortably articulate their client’s position while also being able to read what their counterpart wants. Once a draft agreement has been hammered out, the banker presents it to their superiors for review and approval before it reaches sign off stages.

    In recent times, Investment banks’ reputation was severely damaged by unethical negotiation strategies like white whispering comments between colleagues or clients operating phones under the table during signature moments. Despite these shoddy practices leading only short-term gains, many continue even when placed on probation or penalties.

    Closing the deal is like a game of poker, except the stakes are higher and no one’s bluffing.

    Closing the Deal

    The process of facilitating agreement between two entities is the goal of closing the deal. Investment bankers devise and implement strategies that assist in finalizing transactions, negotiating terms and conditions, and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards in relevant markets.

    Investment bankers facilitate due diligence, draft agreements, assess valuation models, ensure legal compliance and execute deals through their network of investors. Through a negotiation process that can heavily impact the final outcome, investment bankers leverage their expertise to offer financial advice to clients on best-practices for securing favorable terms. It is pivotal that investment banking professionals are adept problem-solvers with exemplary communication skills, as potential challenges may arise at any stage during a transaction.

    With a wide range of services such as underwriting securities issues or managing mergers & acquisitions deals; Investment Banking assures highest levels of meticulousness when coming alive with its offerings. The extensive network capabilities are a testament to how seamless the journey from conceptualization to ‘Closing the Deal’ can be.

    Don’t miss out on expert-driven experiences that provide you more certainty about your financial future!

    Five Facts About What Investment Banks Do:

    • ✅ Investment banks help companies and governments raise capital by underwriting and selling securities. (Source: Investopedia)
    • ✅ Investment banks advise companies on mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate transactions. (Source: Wall Street Oasis)
    • ✅ Investment banks engage in securities trading and market making. (Source: The Balance)
    • ✅ Investment banks provide wealth management and financial advisory services to high net worth individuals and institutions. (Source: CNBC)
    • ✅ Investment banking is a highly competitive and lucrative industry, with large financial rewards for successful professionals. (Source: Vault)

    FAQs about What Do Investment Banks Do?

    What do investment banks do?

    Investment banks serve as intermediaries between companies and investors. They help companies raise capital by underwriting and issuing securities, provide advice on mergers and acquisitions, offer strategic planning services, and perform other financial services for their clients.

    What types of clients do investment banks work with?

    Investment banks typically work with large corporations, institutional investors, and high-net-worth individuals. They may also work with government agencies and other financial institutions.

    What is the role of an investment banker?

    An investment banker is an individual who works for an investment bank and helps clients with financial services such as underwriting and issuing securities, managing mergers and acquisitions, and more. They act as intermediaries between companies and investors to help clients achieve their financial goals.

    What is the difference between an investment bank and a commercial bank?

    Commercial banks primarily deal with deposits and loans for individuals and small businesses, whereas investment banks focus on larger financial transactions such as underwriting and issuing securities, mergers and acquisitions, and other financial services for larger corporations and institutions.

    What are some services that investment banks offer to their clients?

    Investment banks offer a wide range of services, including underwriting and issuing securities, providing advice on mergers and acquisitions, managing initial public offerings (IPOs), assisting with corporate restructuring, and more. Many investment banks also have research departments that provide financial analysis and insights to their clients.

    What are the risks associated with investment banking?

    Like any financial activity, there are risks associated with investment banking. These risks can include market volatility, potential conflicts of interest, regulatory changes, and other factors that can impact the success of financial transactions. It’s important for investors and clients to carefully research and understand the risks associated with investment banking before engaging in transactions.