Investment Banking For Dummies
eBook - ePub

Investment Banking For Dummies

Matthew Krantz, Robert R. Johnson

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eBook - ePub

Investment Banking For Dummies

Matthew Krantz, Robert R. Johnson

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Wrap your head around the complicated world of investment banking with thisunderstandableand comprehensive resource

The celebrated authors of Investment Banking For Dummies, 2nd Edition have updated and modernized their best-selling book to bring readers an invaluable and accessible volume about the investment banking industry.

Written in the straightforward and approachable tone theFor Dummiesseries is known for the world over, authors Matthew Krantz and Robert Johnson have created an indispensable resource for students and professionals new to investment banking.

The book coversallthe crucial topics required to understand the fundamentals of the industry, including:

  • Strategies for different types of risk management: market, credit, operating, reputation, legal, and funding
  • The key investment banking operations: venture capital, buyouts, M&A, equity underwriting, debt, and more
  • The relationship between leverages buyout funds, hedge funds, and corporate and institutional clients

Investment Banking For Dummies, 2ndEdition offers, for the first time, a brand-new chapter devoted to cryptocurrencies, and new content on "unicorn" IPOs, including Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb.

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For Dummies
Banks & Banking
Part 1

Getting Started with Investment Banking


Discover the role investment banking plays in the financial system so you can understand the types of services that are provided in the economy.
See how investment bankers interact with investors in order to appreciate the primary job of moving money from those with extra cash to those who need it.
Look at the process of selling a company to investors so you can see the purpose of one of the key functions served in investment banking.
Recognize what goes on in merger activity so you can see how deals are done and what your job may be as an investment banking professional.
Chapter 1

Introducing Investment Banking

Understanding what investment banking is
Recognizing the critical role investment banking plays in the capital formation process
Discovering how investment banking compares with traditional banking
Finding out how investment banking operations make their money
Looking at the different types of investment banks and what they do
If you’re like most people, when you hear the term investment bank, one of a few things may cross your mind. Your eyes may glaze over as you think about mind-numbingly detailed financial statements and valuation metrics. Yawn. Or, you may think of exciting high-stakes financial maneuvers, like those out of the movie Wall Street, where well-dressed bankers treat companies like Monopoly squares to be dispassionately bought and sold.
But maybe you’re attracted to investment banking by the mental gymnastics required and the promise of big bonuses and riches to those who are in the know. And that may be why you picked up this book.
As you can see, there are many preconceived notions about investment banking and investment bankers. Many of these ideas, though, are often pieces of fiction blended with stories of larger-than-life personalities of high finance that spill out of the pages of the money section of financial publications.
In this book, we tell you what really happens in the investment banking world. This chapter introduces you to the high-level reality of what investment banking is. Here, you see how Wall Street really works. In this chapter, you see that although investment banking can be extremely lucrative, it’s also an important facilitator of economic growth and traces its roots to the idea of putting money into the hands of the dreamers and creators.

What Investment Banking Is

If you’re like most people, you probably figure investment banking got its start in a towering office skyscraper in New York City. But the real story of the origin of investment banking is far less metropolitan, yet arguably even more interesting. Investment banking traces its roots to the age of kings and queens. Many of the most commonly used financial instruments trace their origins to centuries ago when bankers navigated the edicts of rulers and, believe it or not, religious leaders. If you’re interested in the very early days of investment banking, check out the appendix for a quick history lesson.
But for now, just know that investment banking is, at its very core, pretty straightforward. Investment banking is a method of controlling the flow of money. The goal of investment banking is channeling cash from investors looking for returns into the hands of entrepreneurs and business builders who are long on ideas, but short on bucks.
Investment bankers raise money from investors, by selling securities, and then transferring that money to people who need cash to start businesses, build buildings, run cities, or bring other costly projects to reality.
There are many aspects of investment banking that muddy this fundamental purpose. But in the end, investment bankers simply find opportunities to unlock the value of companies or ideas, create businesses, or route money from being idle to having a productive purpose. (In Chapter 2, you discover the purpose of investment banking.)

The role investment banking plays

Investment bankers get involved in the very early stages of funding a new project or endeavor. Investment bankers are typically contacted by people, companies, or governments who need cash to start businesses, expand factories, and build schools or bridges. Representatives from the investment banking operation then find investors or organizations like pension plans, mutual funds, and private investors who have more cash than they know what to do with (a nice problem to have) and who want a return for the use of their funds. Investment banks also offer advice regarding what investment securities should be bought or the ones an investor may want to buy.
One of the trickiest parts of understanding investment banking is that it’s typically a menu of financial services. Some investment banking operations may offer some services, but not others.
The services offered by investment banks typically fall into one of a few buckets. One of the best ways to understand investment banks is to examine all the functions that some of the biggest investment banks perform. For example, Morgan Stanley, one of the world’s largest investment banks, has its hands in several key business areas, including the following:
  • Capital raising: This part of the investment banking function helps companies and organizations generate money from investors. This is typically done by selling shares of stock or debt.
  • Financial advisory: In this role, the investment banking operation is hired to help a company or government make decisions on managing their financial resources. Advice may pertain to whether to buy another company or sell off part of the business. A common business decision tackled by this type of investment banking is whether to acquire another company or divest of a current product line. This is called mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisory.
  • Corporate lending: Investment banks typically help companies and other large borrowers sell securities to raise money. But large investment banks are also frequently involved in extending loans to their customers, often short-term loans (called bridge loans) to tide a company over while another transaction is in the works.
  • Sales and trading: Investment bankers are a creative and innovative lot, in the business of constructing financial instruments to be bought and sold. It’s natural for investment bankers to also buy and sell stocks and other financial instruments either on the behalf of their clients or using their own money.
  • Brokerage services: Some investment banking operations include brokerage services where they may hold clients’ assets or help them conduct trades.
  • Research: Investment banks not only help large institutions sell securities to investors, but also assist investors looking to buy securities. Many investment banks run research units that advise investors on whether they should buy a particular investment.
    The terms investments and securities are pretty much interchangeable.
  • Investments: Investment banks typically serve the role of a middleman, sitting between the entities that need money and those that have it. But periodically, units of investment banking operations may invest their own money in promising companies or projects. This type of investment, often made in companies that don’t have investments that the public can buy, is called private equity.
Investment banking operations at one firm may be engaged in some of the preceding activities, but not all. There’s no rule that demands investment banking operations must perform all the services described here. As investment firms grow, though, they often add functions so they’re more valuable to their clients and can serve as a common source for a variety of services.

How investment banking differs from traditional banking

The critical part of the investment banking process is in the way cash is funneled from the people who have it to the people who need it. After all, traditional banks do essentially the same thing investment banks do — get cash from people who have excess amounts into the hands of those who have productive uses for it.
Traditional banks take deposits from savers with excess cash and lend the money out to borrowers. The main types of traditional banks are commercial banks (which deal primarily with businesses) and retail banks (which deal mostly with individuals).
The difference between traditional banks and investment banks, though, is the way money is transferred between the people and institutions that need it and the ones who have it. Instead of collecting deposits from savers, as traditional banks do, investment bankers usually rely on selling financial instruments (such as stocks and bonds), in a process called underwriting. By selling financial instruments to investors, the investment bankers raise the money that’s provided to the people, companies, and governments that have productive uses for it.
Because banks accept deposits from Main Street savers, those deposits are protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which guarantees bank deposits. To protect itself, the FDIC along with the federal government puts very strict rules on banks to make sure they’re not being reckless.
On the other hand, investment banks, at least until the financial crisis of 2007 (see the appendix), were free to take bigger chances with other people’s money. Investment banks could be more creative in inventing new financial tools, which sometimes don’t work out so well. The idea is that clients of investment banks are more sophisticated and know the risks better than the average person with a bank account.

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Normes de citation pour Investment Banking For Dummies

APA 6 Citation

Krantz, M., & Johnson, R. (2020). Investment Banking For Dummies (2nd ed.). Wiley. Retrieved from (Original work published 2020)

Chicago Citation

Krantz, Matthew, and Robert Johnson. (2020) 2020. Investment Banking For Dummies. 2nd ed. Wiley.

Harvard Citation

Krantz, M. and Johnson, R. (2020) Investment Banking For Dummies. 2nd edn. Wiley. Available at: (Accessed: 14 October 2022).

MLA 7 Citation

Krantz, Matthew, and Robert Johnson. Investment Banking For Dummies. 2nd ed. Wiley, 2020. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.