The top investment banking companies are typically banks with large market capitalization or market cap. A bank’s market cap is the value of its shares owned by stockholders. Companies with high market caps are typically very powerful since they’re worth a lot of money and play significant roles in the economy.
Investment banks mainly help large companies and governments raise capital, so investment banking is inherently a global industry. Some of the world’s largest investment banking companies are not based in the U.S., but these international banks still make up a large portion of the market stateside.
We’ve compiled a list of the top investment banks in the U.S. based on market capitalization. In this guide, we’ll also go over:
- Top 10 U.S. Investment Banking Companies
- Top Investment Banks Overseas
- Bulge Bracket Investment Banks
- Mid-Market Investment Banks
- Boutique Investment Banks
Top 10 U.S. Investment Banking Companies
In the U.S., the top investment banking companies include the Big Four Banks — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo. These banks have massive market capitalizations and are the largest in the U.S. by consolidated assets, each with more than $1.7 trillion in assets according to the Federal Reserve. Consolidated assets include stocks, loans, properties, and reserves.
1. JPMorgan Chase
Market cap: $401.29 billion
Total consolidated assets: $3.2 trillion
With roots that stretch back to the 18th century, JPMorgan Chase is a multinational bank formed by a merger of the Chase Manhattan Corporation and J.P. Morgan & Co. in December 2000. Presently, JPMorgan Chase offers a variety of financial services, ranging from investment banking and asset management to credit cards and retail banking.
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2. Bank of America
Market cap: $230.98 billion
Total consolidated assets: $2.4 trillion
Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Bank of America is the second-largest bank in the world by market cap and the eighth-largest by total consolidated assets. Bank of America mainly handles commercial banking, investment banking, and wealth management.
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3. Morgan Stanley
Market cap: $149.38 billion
Total consolidated assets: $201.3 billion
Morgan Stanley is a multinational financial services company and investment banking institution headquartered in New York City. Although its founders were partners at JPMorgan in the mid-1930s, Morgan Stanley now operates as an entirely separate entity from JPMorgan Chase.
4. Wells Fargo
Market cap: $148.46 billion
Total consolidated assets: $1.7 trillion
Wells Fargo is a global financial services institution and a member of America’s Big Four banks. In addition to investment banking and asset management services, Wells Fargo has commercial and retail banking operations. Although Morgan Stanley may have a slightly higher market capitalization, Wells Fargo holds considerably more consolidated assets.
5. Goldman Sachs
Market cap: $113.65 billion
Total consolidated assets: $486.9 billion
Goldman Sachs is consistently one of the top investment banks in the world based on global revenue. Goldman Sachs has only two domestic branches and offers investment banking services, in addition to financial products like commercial banking and brokerage services.
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6. Charles Schwab
Market cap: $91.75 billion
Total consolidated assets: $552 billion
Charles Schwab was founded in San Francisco, California in 1971. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest banks in the United States by assets and a global force in the investment banking and wealth management space. Charles Schwab also offers consulting and advisory services to retail and corporate clients.
7. Citigroup (Citi)
Market cap: $90.80 billion
Total consolidated assets: $1.8 trillion
Citigroup is a multinational investment bank and the holding company for a number of subsidiaries, including Citicorp and Citibank. Although Citibank isn’t at the top of the list by market cap, Citi holds significantly more consolidated assets than Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley.
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8. PNC Financial Services
Market cap: $51.18 billion
Total consolidated assets: $552.3 billion
PNC Financial Services is a multinational banking institution and its subsidiary, Harris Williams, is one of the largest investment banking and mergers and acquisition (M&A) advisory businesses in America. Additionally, PNC is a leader in retail banking as one of the most notable credit card issuers in the country.
9. U.S. Bancorp
Market cap: $50.01 billion
Total consolidated assets: $585.1 billion
Founded in the late 1800s, U.S. Bancorp holds the second oldest charter in the nation and is the parent organization of U.S. Bank. In addition to wealth management and investment advisory services, U.S. Bancorp also has a strong retail and commercial banking presence.
10. Truist Financial Corporation
Market cap: $41.93 billion
Total consolidated assets: $546.2 billion
Truist Financial Corporation was born from a 2019 merger between BB&T and SunTrust Banks. Truist offers a variety of financial services, including brokerage, asset management, commercial banking, and insurance services.
It’s important to note that market capitalization depends entirely on current stock prices. As stock prices fluctuate throughout the day, market capitalization can change. Data used for this list is accurate as of April 27, 2023 and slight discrepancies in ranking may occur due to market changes.
Top Investment Banks Overseas
The biggest investment banking companies based outside of the United States include:
- HSBC: The largest banking and financial services corporation in Europe, with a market cap exceeding $145 billion.
- UBS: A multinational investment banking company considered one of the “bulge bracket” banks.
- T.D. Bank: A Canadian-based banking institution offering retail, commercial, and investment banking services.
- Barclays: A British multinational banking corporation with a market cap of over $32.3 billion.
Bulge Bracket Investment Banks
Another way to categorize the world’s largest investment banking companies is by looking at the so-called “bulge bracket” banks. These banks are the largest, multinational investment banks that typically have clients that include major corporations, institutions, and governments. The name comes from the way public offerings are advertised to the public — called a “tombstone,” it lists the groups involved in underwriting the deal, usually with the most important banks at the top. The font used for the top banks was bolder and bigger, causing them to “bulge” out of the page.
The bulge bracket banks are not a definitive list because financial power fluctuates, and there are no explicit criteria for inclusion.
Some of the banks usually considered to be bulge bracket include:
- Bank of America Merill Lynch
- Credit Suisse
- Deutsche Bank
- Goldman Sachs
- JPMorgan Chase
- Morgan Stanley
Mid-Market Investment Banks
Middle market investment banks are financial companies that aren’t big enough to be a bulge bracket bank but still offer similar services such as wealth management, merger and acquisition advisement, brokerage, and private equity services. Typically, the deals handled by mid-market investment banking companies are less than $500 million, and many mid-market banks specialize in a particular industry.
Examples of mid-market investment banks include:
Boutique Investment Banks
Boutique investment banks are small investment banking companies specializing in specific areas or industries. For example, Rothschild specializes in global mergers and acquisitions advisory, and Cain Brothers focuses on the health care industry.
Some examples of boutique investment banks are:
- Montgomery & Co.
- Marathon Capital
- Sandler O’Neill Partners
The line between boutique investment banks and mid-market firms isn’t always clear — boutique banks are almost always specialized in one area, but some mid-market banks may specialize while others offer a full range of financial services. Additionally, with the volatility of financial power, banks can fluctuate between being considered boutique or mid-market.
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Market capitalization data is accurate as of April 27, 2023.
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