Definition of 'Investment Banking':
“A specific division of banking related to the creation of capital for other companies. Investment banks underwrite new debt and equity securities for all types of corporations. Investment banks also provide guidance to issuers regarding the issue and placement of stock”. Investment banking involves raising money (capital) for companies and governments, usually by issuing securities. Securities or financial instruments include equity or ownership instruments such as stocks where investors own a share of the issuing concern and therefore are entitled to profits. They also include debt instruments such as bonds, where the issuing concern borrows money from investors and promises to repay it at a certain date with interest. Companies typically issue stock when they first go public through initial public offerings (IPOs), and they may issue stock and bonds periodically to fund such enterprises as research, new product development, and expansion. Companies seeking to go public must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission and pay registration fees, which cover accountant and lawyer expenses for the preparation of registration statements. A registration statement describes a company's business and its plans for using the money raised, and it includes a company's financial statements. Before stocks and bonds are issued, investment bankers perform due diligence examinations, which entail carefully evaluating a company's worth in terms of money and equipment (assets) and debt (liabilities). This examination requires the full disclosure of a company's strengths and weaknesses. The company pays the investment banker after the securities deal is completed and these fees often range from 3 to 7 percent of what a company raises, depending on the type of transaction. Investment banks aid companies and governments in selling securities as well as investors in purchasing securities, managing investments, and trading securities. Investment banks take the form of brokers or agents who purchase and sell securities for their clients; dealers or principals who buy and sell securities for their personal interest in turning a profit; and broker-dealers who do both. The primary service provided by investment banks is underwriting, which refers to guaranteeing a company a set price for the securities it plans to issue. If the securities fail to sell for the set price, the investment bank pays the company the difference. Therefore, investment banks must carefully determine the set price by considering the expectations of the company and the state of the market for the securities. In addition, investment banks provide a plethora of other services including financial advising, acquisition advising, divestiture advising, buying and selling securities, interest-rate swapping, and debt-for-stock swapping. Nevertheless, most of the revenues of investment banks come from underwriting, selling securities, and setting up mergers and acquisitions. When companies need to raise large amounts of capital, a group of investment banks often participate, which are referred to as syndicates. Syndicates are hierarchically structured and the members of syndicates are grouped according to three functions: managing, underwriting, and selling. Managing banks sit at the top of the hierarchy, conduct due diligence examinations, and receive management fees from the companies. Underwriting banks receive fees for sharing the risk of securities offerings. Finally, selling banks function as brokers within the syndicate and sell the securities, receiving a fee for each share they sell. Nevertheless, managing and underwriting banks usually also sell securities. All major investment banks have a syndicate department, which concentrates on recruiting members for syndicates managed by their firms and responding to recruitments from other firms. A variety of legislation, mostly from the 1930s, governs investment...
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