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Top Investment Banking Companies For Career Growth

The investment banking industry is growing by leaps and bounds after the Covid-19 pandemic which is evident from the fact that the global investment banking market was valued at USD 98.57 billion in 2021 which is now standing at USD 166.62 billion and is expected to be worth USD 221.78 billion by 2027. Whether you are a seasoned investor or eager to learn about the Top Investment Banking  Companies globally, here in this article we give you a glimpse of the leaders in terms of the category they belong, their reach, and the services they offer.

Investment Banking Top Companies

Introduction to Investment Banking

 In layman’s terms, an Investment Bank acts as an intermediary between a business entity that requires capital to the right investors. This they facilitate in the form of equity and debt financial instruments  The second main role of all Top Investment Banking Companies is to provide advisory services to corporates in the area of Mergers & Acquisitions, restructuring, and underwriting.

Now, many Investment Banks are confused with regular banks, but the main difference between both banks is the services they provide. Commercial banks have the provision of deposit accounts and also extend the rest of the financial services to customers. Whereas Investment Banks only offer advisory services. To understand more about the services provided by them, here is a list of the core services that all Investment Banks offer : 

  • Corporate Finance: They provide advisory services for mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, and raising capital for business entities through debt and equity markets and instruments.
  • Asset Management: They maintain the investment portfolio of high net-worth individuals, and large firms and may extend this service to individuals too by managing and advising on investment products.
  • Sales & Trading: In some firms, it may be known as the Securities Division as they deal in buying and selling of securities and derivatives.
  • Research: The most revered role of Investment Banks is conducting diligent and detailed research of the project related information on various criteria, that help the companies to make informed decisions to sell, buy, hold, or merge.

Types of Investment Banks

The Investment Banks are categorized based on the range of services they offer, the global and local presence, the number of clients and employees, and most importantly the deal values. On these criteria, they can be classified under the following heads :  

  • Bulge Bracket Investment Banks: All the major Investment Banking Companies fall under this category. They have a major global presence, offices in mostly all the major international and national cities, and their employee numbers also run in thousands. They offer all the services falling under the Investment Banking category like mergers and acquisitions, derivatives, IPOs, and equity research. Their deal values are mostly USD 1 billion and above. They also have a separate commercial and retail division.
  • Boutique Investment Banks: These banks are categorized under two heads : 
  • Regional Boutique Banks: These firms are smaller in size and generally have a local presence. Their clients are local small firms and the government. Their deal value is generally USD 50 million or maybe lesser. They offer restricted Investment Banking services. Their employee numbers may not even run in the 100s.
  • Elite Boutique Banks: As the name denotes, these banks are closer to bulge bracket banks in terms of their deal value. They generally focus on mergers and acquisitions of reputed firms and few offer expertise in restructuring and asset management. They may have an international presence but are not globally present. Although their typical clients hail from bigger firms and high-net-worth individuals their deal values are generally USD 1 billion and above. The number of employees depends on the spread of the banking company.
  • Mid-Market Investment Banks: Mid Market Investment Banks have a strong local and national presence. They offer all the services of Investment Banking, and their deal values lie between USD 50 million to USD 100 million. Their clientele includes all firms, corporations, government, and high-net-worth individuals. 

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Top Investment Banking Companies – Bulge Bracket 

In the previous section, we have explained the criteria on which the Investment Banks are categorized. In this section we will take a deeper look at Bulge Bracket Top Investment Banking Companies

Goldman Sachs:

Marcus Goldman a German immigrant, set up services in a one-room apartment in Manhatten which was known as the first commercial paper business, in which he would purchase promissory notes from merchants in need of finance and sell them to the banks in New York. In the year 1885, his son Marcus Goldman and son-in-law Samuel Sachs set up Goldman, Sachs & Co. and so the world leader in deal-making on Wall Street was born. In the year 1896, they were pioneers in establishing the IPO market and later they were the first banks to have a dedicated M&A division.

  • Market Cap: $113.65 billion
  • Total Consolidate Asset: $486.9 billion
  • Chairman: David Solomon
  • Locations: 96 branches globally
  • Employees: 48000 +
  • Services Offered: Mergers & Acquisition, Equity Capital Markets, Debt Capital Markets, Corporate Derivatives, Structured Finance, Real Estate Finance, Sustainable Banking, Asset Management, Hedge Funds, Banks, Transition Management Services, Systematic Trading, Portfolio and Risk Management, Mortgages, Equities and Commodities Trading, Derivatives, Investments, 

Top Investment Banking Companies – JP Morgan Chase:

The most unusual begging of the leading bank in the list of Top Investment Banking Companies, JP Morgan was established in 1799 as a water distribution company by Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr under the banner of The Manhattan Company, which also ventured into the banking business. In the year 1864, Junius Morgan the patriarch of the JP Morgan family along with George Peabody & Com. renamed it JP Morgan & Co. In December 2000 with the merger of Chase Manhattan Corporation, they renamed it as JP Morgan & Chase Co. Currently, it heads the list of the most prestigious Investment Banks on Wall Street and is a global leader amongst the top underwriters of global debts and equities. 

    •  Market Cap: $401.29 billion
  • Total Consolidate Asset: $3.2 trillion
  • Chairman: William B Harrison Jr.
  • Locations: More than 100 branches globally
  • Employees:2,40,000 +
  • Services Offered: Commercial Banking, Credit and Financing, Global Research,  Mergers & Acquisition, Equity Capital Markets, Debt Capital Markets, Corporate Derivatives, Structured Finance, Real Estate Finance, Sustainable Banking, Asset Management, Hedge Funds, Banks, Transition Management Services, Systematic Trading, Portfolio and Risk Management, Mortgages, Equities and Commodities Trading, Derivatives, Investments.

Citigroup:

Citigroup laid its foundation in New York in 1812 and was then known as First National City Bank. It is a pioneer in setting up the world’s first ATM and the first 24hr PC banking. It is a leader not only in the list of Top Investment Banking Companies but also hailed as the world’s largest financial and banking group. In 1998 with the merger of another US financial giant Travellers Group, it was renamed Citigroup. 

    •  Market Cap: $ 90.80billion
  • Total Consolidate Asset: $1.8 trillion
  • CEO: Jane Fraser ( World’s First Woman CEO of a leading US Bank)
  • Locations :  (5 countries(on ground presence), 77 countries (trading floors)
  • Employees:2,30,000 +
  • Services Offered: Capital Markets, Banking  Commercial Banking, Credit and Financing, Global Research,  Mergers & Acquisition, Equity Capital Markets, Treasury Solutions, Foreign Securities Custody Solutions, Underwriting, Foreign Exchange, Debt Capital Markets, Corporate Derivatives, Structured Finance, Real Estate Finance, Sustainable Banking, Asset Management, Hedge Funds, Banks, Transition Management Services, Systematic Trading, Portfolio and Risk Management, Mortgages, Equities and Commodities Trading, Derivatives, Investments.

Morgan Stanley:

Harold Stanley started the bank in September 1935 with a staff of just 13 people. It rose to fame quickly which was evident when in 1950 it issued debt for $300 million for General Motors and offered $231 million IBM stocks. In 1970 it was the first bank to open its office in Japan. The first computer model of financial analysis was developed by the bank in the 1960s. In 1984 it developed Trade Analysis Processing System(TAPS).

    •  Market Cap: $ 149.38billion
  • Total Consolidate Asset: $201.3 billion
  • Charmain: James. P Gorman
  • Locations:  More than 40 countries
  • Employees:80,000 +
  • Services Offered: Capital Markets, Credit and Financing, Global Research,  Mergers & Acquisition, Equity Capital Markets, Underwriting, Debt Capital Markets, Corporate Derivatives, Real Estate Finance, Asset Management, Hedge Funds, Transition Management Services, Systematic Trading, Portfolio and Risk Management, Mortgages, Equities and Commodities Trading, Derivatives, Investments.

Barclays:

In 1690 John Freame and Thomas Gould started banking activities in a Gold market in London. But in 1736 when John Freame’s grandson-in-law James Barclay joined the business, the business was renamed Barclays and it is still carrying on. Barclays PLC is the parent company of which Barclay Investment Banking is a core business arm. It has many accolades for its rich history. In 1967 it started the first ATM in the UK. And in 1987, it issued the first Debit Card in the UK too. 

    • Market Cap: $ 32.3 billion
  • Total Consolidate Assets: 1.5 trillion Pound
  • Chairman: Nigel Higgins
  • Locations:  More than 55 countries and 4750 branches 
  • Employees:87,400 +
  • Services Offered: Mergers & Acquisitions, Equity Capital markets, Debt Capital Markets, Leveraged Finance, ESG Advisory, Risk management, International Corporate Banking, Research, Sales and Trading, Risk Management, Portfolio Management, Wealth Management, Corporate Lending, Mortgages, Personal Banking, Real Estate Finance, Liquidity Management, Trade, Foreign exchange, Escrow, and Banking Services

Mid-Market Top Investment Banking Companies

Mid-Market Top Investment Banking Companies may not be as globally present as Bulge Bracket, but they have a credible number of clients which belong to small firms, government, and local corporates. The list is as follows : 

  • Baird: Baird came into existence in 1919 and the founding father was Robert Wilson Baird. It merged with the Wisconsin Group and ran under their banner for a few years. In 1934 it separated from the Wisconsin Group and was known Securities Company of Milwaukee. In 1984 when it joined the New York Stock Exchange, it was christened as Baird.
  • Market Cap: $ 3.41billion
  • Total Consolidate Asset: $375 billion
  • Charmain: Steev Booth
  • Locations: 160 offices in the US, present in China, England, and Germany with 1 branch each.
  • Employees: 500 +
  • Services Offered: Private Wealth Management, Asset Management, Equity Capital Market, Fixed Income Capital Market, Private Equity, Institutional Equity, Research, Public Finance, Fixed Income Sales and Trading, Capital Advisory, Restructuring Advisory, and GP Solutions.

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TW Cowen:

TW Cowen started in 1918 as a bond trading house. It soon gained market leadership in railroad bonds and research. In the 1970’s it expanded overseas in research and retail. In the 1980’s it established its Investment Banking division. In 1998, it was taken over by Societe Generale and was renamed SG Cowen. In 2008 it was no longer a part of SG and renamed itself TW Cowen. In 2022 it was acquired by Toronto Dominion Bank. 

    • Market Cap: $ 1.28billion
  • Total Consolidate Asset: $8.83 billion
  • CEO: Jeffery. M. Solomon
  • Locations: 23 branches in the US, 10 in Europe, 2 in Asia, and 1 branch in Isreal.
  • Employees: 1534
  • Services Offered: Equity Capital Market, Private Capital Solution, Mergers & Acquisitions, Global Advisory SXervices, Debt Financing, Private Placement, Sales & Trading, Securities Services, Investment Analysis and Research and Investment Management.

Houlihan Lokey:

Houlihan Lokey was started by two ex PWC employees in 1972, Richard Houlihan and O.Kit Lokey. In 1976 they were joined by James. H Zukin and the company were known as Houlihan Lokey Howard and Zukin. It started with private advisory services to private holding companies. In 1986, Kenneth Friedman joined the company and started the first Merger & Acquisitions advisory service. As of 2023, the company provides its services in the field of Food, Retail, Energy, Fintech, Financial Services, Healthcare, Real Estate, Lodging & Leisure, and Technology. It remains in the no.1 position in the US for transactions in Mergers & Acquisitions. For the last 25yrs, it has been the world leader in Restructuring and Mergers & Acquisition Fairness Opinion Advisory.

    • Market Cap: $ 6.99 billion
  • Total Consolidate Asset: $2.97 billion
  • Chairman: Irwin Gold
  • Locations: Present in 36 countries
  • Employees: 2610
  • Services Offered: Corporate Finance, Mergers & Acquisition, Capital Market, Private Funds Advisory, Restructuring, Portfolio Valuation and Fund Advisory, Transaction Opinions and Advisory, Corporate Valuation Advisory, Real Estate Valuation and Advisory, and Dispute Resolution Consulting.

Price Waterhouse Cooper:

Two accounting firms in 1865, Price Waterhouse and Coopers and Lybrand joined hands to start an accounting firm. In 1998, they were named PricewaterhouseCoopers, although they are mostly referred to as PwC. They are the world’s second largest accounting firm based on revenue generation. They are a Fortune 100 company and they have been awarded Best in Business in 2022. Vault Ranking has given them the credit of being no. 1 in the circle.

    • Market Cap: $ 168.12 billion
  • Total Consolidate Asset: $50.3 billion
  • Chairman: Bob Moritz
  • Locations: Present in 157 countries
  • Employees: 328000+
  • Services Offered: Audit and assurance, tax, cybersecurity, Mergers and Acquisitions, forensic accounting, risk management, customer engagement, disinvestment, capital raising, IPOs, Startup management, research.

KPMG:

KPMG is an acronym of the founding members of the company. In 1891, William Barclay Peat started his firm known as William Barclay &Co. In 1897, James Marwick and Roger Mitchell started their company known as Marwick, Mitchell & Co. In 1971 Piet Klynveld and Jaap Krayaanhopf laid the foundation for Klynveld, Krayaanhopf & Co. In 1953 Reinhard Goerdeler joined the firm. In 1911 Peat and Mitchell merged to form Peat, Marwick Mitchell & Co. In 1986 after its merger with Klynveld Main Goerdeler, it was renamed as KPMG. This merger was the biggest in history and so was born KPMG. 

    • Market Cap: $ 168.12 billion
  • Total Consolidate Asset: $34.64 billion
  • Chairman: Bill Thomas
  • Locations: Present in 155 countries
  • Employees:265000
  • Services Offered: Audit & assurance, tax, management consulting, risk consulting, deal advisory, Sustainability and ESG, IPOs, accounting advisory, growth and startup management, restructuring, real estate, mergers & acquisition, valuation, and market research.

Boutique

Boutique Investment Banking Firms are classified based on the services they offer and the deal value they handle. They are smaller firms as compared to the above two. Their employee numbers run in the hundreds. They specialize in certain Investment Banking services and their clients are from Fortune 500 and 100 companies. The value of deals they handle may run into billions. Here are a few global Elite Boutique Investment Banking Firms leaders:

  • Evercore: Evercore was founded by Richard Altman and was associated with the US Treasury and Blackstone in 1995. Since then it has been a leader in Mergers & Acquisitions and has been the advisor to some of the largest deals of the year like the $39 billion acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals by Astra Zeneca, $11.6 billion of BBVA by PVC, $ 27 billion sale of Refinitive to the London Stock Exchange, and $90 billion acquisition of Celgene by Bristol- Meyers Squibb.
    •  Market Cap: $ 5.5 billion
  • Chairman: Roger C Altman
  • Locations: Present in 11 countries
  • Employees: 1950
  • Services Offered: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Defense and Shareholders Advisory, Transaction Structuring, Capital Markets Advisory, Institutional Equities and Investment Management

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Lazard:

The foundation of the company was laid in 1848 by Alexandre and Simon Lazard as a dry goods merchant. In 1851 they moved to San Francisco, where they ventured into banking and foreign exchange services. In 2000 the three houses of Lazard came together and they were known as Lazard LLC. In 2005 the firm went public and was known as Lazard. Andre Meyer, Micheal David Weille, and Felix Rohatyn who are well-known financial wizards have been part of the company. 

  • Market Cap: $ 3.9 billion
  • Total Consolidate Asset: $221 billion
  • Chairman & CEO: Kenneth. M. Jacobs
  • Locations: 41 cities globally
  • Employees: 3300+
  • Services Offered: Financial Advisory, Strategic Mergers & Acquisition, Capital Markets Advisory, Restructuring and Capital Solutions, Specialized Advisory, Risk and Asset Management.

Centerview Partners:

This elite boutique investment bank is counted in the top 25 of the Top Investment Banking Companies. It was established in 2006 by the then UBS Chairman Blair Effron and Robert Pruzan an Investment Banking expert with over 30 years of experience. The company was named after the view they could see of New York City from their Rockefeller Towers office. It boasts of giving nearly $ 3 trillion worth of services to over 20 percent of the Fortune 500 top 50 companies. In 2020 it was awarded as the no. 1 Investment Banking firm to work with.

    • Market Cap: $ 1.3 billion
  • Total Consolidate Asset: $4.57 billion
  • Chairman: Blair Effron
  • Locations: 3 offices in the US, 1 in Paris, and 1 in London
  • Employees: 450+
  • Services Offered: Restructuring, Capital Advisory, Recapitalization, Strategic Advisory, and Independent Board Advisory 

PJT:

Paul Jeffery Taubman started in 2013 his advisory firm known as PJT, after working for Morgan Stanely as their Global Head for Mergers & Acquisitions and Investment Banking. In 2015, the firm merged with the advisory arm of The Blackstone Group, and, PJT Patners Inc. was formed. It is valued in the list of the Top Investment Banking Companies, which is evident from the fact that it was awarded by Vault the No. 3 position for the Best Banking Firm for Business Outlook and Best Paying Bank.

    • Market Cap: $ 1.91 billion
  • Total Consolidate Asset: $4.91 billion
  • Chairman: Paul Jeffery Taubman
  • Locations: 11 offices present in the US, UK, Spain, Hong Kong, Paris, and London
  • Employees: 1000
  • Services Offered: Strategic Advisory Services, Restructuring and Special Situations Advisory Services, Capital Advisory, and Shareholder Advisory Services

Perella Weinberg Partners:

Joseph Parella, PeterWeinberg and Terry Meguid after a rich experience of more than 20 years in Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, came together in 2006 and started the company. Today it is counted among the Top Investment Banking Companies because of the transactions worth  $1 trillion since it started. It has Discovery and AT&T WarnerMedia merger deal, Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler merger, Lufthansa, and Royal Caribbean Group deals. 

    • Market Cap: $ 0.82 billion
  • Total Consolidate Asset: $0.71 billion
  • Chairman: Peter Weinberg & Joseph Parellea
  • Locations: 10 offices total in the USA, London, and Munich
  • Employees: 586
  • Services Offered: Mergers & Acquisitions, Capital and Capital Markets, Restructuring and Liabilities management, Shareholder Management

 

Conclusion 

In conclusion, the Investment Banking business world is constantly evolving. From their brief history, it shows that the way to being market leaders was a combination of industry expertise, dedication, hard work, and keeping the interest of the client first. The business share of Investment Banking is rising fast and, most investment banking firms are concentrating on spreading their wings with this rapid increase. 

Investors look for a reliable partner for their financial endeavors and all the Top Investment Banking Companies rose to this position due to the rapid acceptance of technology in their deals. With the help of valuation techniques, sensitivity analysis through computers has made decision-making faster, more informed, and more data-driven. All the major investment banking firms are spreading their roots globally to be able to increase their customer base.

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FAQs on Top Investment Banking Companies

Q. What are the criteria for listing Investment Banking Top Companies?

The Investment Banks in this article have been classified according to the value of the deals they handle, their global presence, the number of services they provide, the clientele they handle, and the number of employees.

Q. What services do Investment Banking firms offer to their clients?

The major functions of all Investment Banks and firms are advisory services in Mergers & Acquisitions, Restructuring, Capital Markets, Capital raising Advisory Services, Risk Management, Divestments, and Research.

Q. How many types of Investment Banks are there?

Investment Banks are classified into three categories. Bulge Investment Banks include all the global leaders in Investment Banking who have a deal value of more than $1 billion, Fortune 500 companies as their clients, strong global presence and they offer all services to clients. Mid Market Investment Banks have deal values generally ranging between $1 billion to $50 million, a stronger local presence, and may have a global presence but lesser compared to Bulge Bracket, mostly local big firms and high net worth individuals, offer all the services and also serve individual clients too. Elite Boutique Investment Banks may have deal values of more than $1 billion, a much lesser global presence, and specialize in few services. 

Geetanjali Pantvaidya is a Post Graduate in MBA Marketing from Army Institue of Management Kolkatta. A Y2k batch pass out , She started her career with Caltiger.com which the country’s first free ISP. She has over 12 years experience in marketing working in the telecom industry, banking , insurance and the education industry. Hailing from an army family background, the love for travelling was deeply rooted in her veins since childhood, thus, her stint as a travel manager with Thomas Cook. She embarked on her journey as a content writer with a travel company.

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