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What is Investment Banking?

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So what does an investment bank actually do? Several things, actually. Below we break down each of the major functions of the investment bank, and provide a brief review of the changes that have shaped the investment banking industry through the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Click on each section to learn more.

Raising Capital & Security Underwriting. Banks are middlemen between a company that wants to issue new securities and the buying public.

Mergers & Acquisitions. Banks advise buyers and sellers on business valuation, negotiation, pricing and structuring of transactions, as well as  procedure and implementation.

Sales & Trading and Equity Research. Banks match up buyers and sellers as well as buy and sell securities out of their own account to facilitate the trading of securities

Retail and Commercial Banking. After the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999, investment banks now offer traditionally off-limits services like commercial banking.

Front office vs back office. While the sexier functions like M&A advisory are “front office,” other functions like risk management, financial control, corporate treasury, corporate strategy, compliance, operations and technology are critical back office functions.

History of the industry. The industry has changed dramatically since John Pierpont Morgan had to personally bail out the United States from the Panic of 1907. We survey the important evolution in this section.

After the 2008 financial crisis. The  industry was shaken to the core during and after the financial crisis that gripped the world in 2008. How has the industry changed and where is it going?

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2 Comments
  1. August 26, 2017

    Hassan Bond

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    • August 27, 2017
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      Haseeb Chowdhry

      Thank you Hasaan, much appreciated.

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