2 answers

What does an Investment Bank do other than "investment banking"?

Asked Palo Alto, California

Investment banks do a lot more than just "investment banking". Could you please describe what investment banking really means, and what other things investment banks do? #finance #investment-banking

2 answers

Justin’s Answer

Updated New York, New York

Let me add to Isabelle's comment. At a more basic level, much of the work inside the Investment Banking Department involves understanding a client company's operations and then making suggestions regarding the financial elements of its business. For example, if you were advising McDonald's, you would be expected to understand and develop a spreadsheet that demonstrates how the company generates sales and what types of costs are involved in operating the business. You would also need to understand who are McDonald's customers and who supplies the company with food and supplies. In essence, you would study the entire business.

From there, you would help McDonald's address its concerns. Perhaps they want to understand how to raise money to pay for hundreds of new stores in Asia. For that, you might suggest issuing new stock or bonds. If they agree, your team would help find investors who want to buy those stocks or bonds. Or maybe they want to get into the growing sandwich market. You might discuss what would happen if McDonald's bought the entire Panera Bread Company or Jimmy John's.

All of these elements involve finance, but the great part of investment banking is you start by understanding what a company does in the first place.

Isabelle’s Answer

Updated Cambridge, Massachusetts

Jared, It depends on the size of the bank you are thinking of. Let's say for example you are looking at the top banks in the USA (e.g. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch), IB would be divided into different sub-divisions. 1. Mergers and acquisitions: as it suggests, you would advise clients on a variety of deals: mergers, acquisitions, sale, restructuring (sometimes) or on potential strategic deals (e.g. client has a lot of cash and doesn't know what to do with it - you would suggest companies or paths to follow) 2. Capital Markets: helps clients issue debt or equity or derivatives in the market 3. Sales and Trading (may be lumped into IB): sale and trading of stocks, fixed income, currencies, commodities on behalf of clients. Banks tend to have multiple other divisions that include research, asset management (for funds), private wealth management (for individuals).

Hope this helps