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Top 10 investment banks in the US by market cap [facts and numbers]

See the ranking of top American investment banks and learn relevant facts about these financial institutions and the estimated size of their workforce.
American flag at Wall Street, New York
Article author
Written by
Felicjan Rybka
Published on
April 24, 2024
Last updated on
June 11, 2024

Investment banks play a vital role in today’s global economy. People with no direct interest in capital markets usually don’t realize how important these financial institutions are, but in fact, they have a tremendous impact on economic growth.

Leading investment banks and their services enable large corporations, governments, and other firms to quickly raise capital, manage risks, and execute strategic transactions, which strengthens their positions in the market. Moreover, investment banking firms connect private and institutional investors with businesses needing money and make complex financial transactions possible.

Read this article to learn about the biggest IB firms business models and see the ranking of top ten investment banks in the USA.

The overview of investment banking services

To better understand investment banking rankings, knowing what the biggest investment bankers actually do is crucial.

Managing investments isn’t the only service investment banks offer. A big part of these institutions is strategic advisory services, including corporate restructuring, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions advisory (M&A guidance), and similar services. 

Receiving expert strategic advice allows institutional clients to optimize their operations and unlock additional value for shareholders. Moreover, the role investment banks play in financing new investments, enabling private equity funds, enhancing risk management, and facilitating corporate finance governance is simply essential for the functioning of modern markets.

Side note: Middle market investment banks and boutique investment banks

It’s important to note that this ranking specifically highlights bulge bracket banks - the largest investment banks, which primarily engage with governments, large corporations, and international institutions.

However, it’s equally crucial to recognize the significant role of middle market investment banks from America, such as Baird, Citizens JMP, Houlihan Lokey, Lincoln International, Piper Sandler, and Stifel, which, despite not making the list, play a vital part in modern financial landscape.

The term “boutique investment banks” is also sometimes used to describe all investment banks that are not global bulge bracket banks, including middle-market investment banks. To be precise, a boutique investment bank is a financial organization that deals in at least one aspect of investment banking, such as corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions advisory, and private equity deals. Usually, such companies can provide excellent consulting services but not funding. In the USA, companies notable for being good boutique investment banks include Allen & Company, Perella Weinberg Partners, Lazard, Rothschild & Co, and Evercore Partners.

Similarly to large investment banks, these investor banks focus on raising equity capital and handling mergers and acquisitions but work with medium-sized businesses characterized by annual revenues ranging from $10 million to $500 million and staff numbers from 100 to 2,000 employees.

The top investment banks ranking

This ranking of US best investment banks is based only on their market cap as of April 19, 2024. However, in the description of each top investment bank, you will find relevant, interesting facts about these financial institutions and the estimated size of their workforce. The data comes from the Companies Market Cap website, individual companies’ websites, and LinkedIn.

The top investment banks in USA are:

1. JPMorgan Chase & Co – the biggest player in investment banking

Market capitalization: $520.56 Billion (source)

Employees on LinkedIn: 78,812

With over $3.3 trillion in total assets, JPMorgan Chase & Co. is the largest bank in the United States and the world’s largest bank by market capitalization as of January 2, 2024 (source).

JPMorgan Chase offers considerably diverse financial services, with business segments spanning commercial banking, corporate banking, private banking, asset management, and more (source).

The company has a strong focus on innovation and technology, investing heavily in digital capabilities to enhance the customer experience and streamline operations (source).

Originally from New York City, today, JPMorgan Chase enjoys a broad global presence, operating in over 100 countries and serving millions of customers worldwide through its extensive network of branches and digital banking platforms (source).

2. Bank of America Corporation – the digital banking leader

Market capitalization: $281.39 Billion (source)

Employees on LinkedIn: 207,301

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Bank of America scores high in all best investment bank rankings, as it is one of the largest banking and financial services companies in the United States, with over $2.4 trillion in total assets as of 2023 (source).

The company has a significant global presence, operating in over 35 countries and serving approximately 69 million consumers and small corporate clients worldwide (source).

Bank of America is a leader in digital banking, with over 22 million mobile banking customers. Twenty percent of its deposit transactions are now made through its mobile platform (source).

3. Wells Fargo – the largest bank by branch network

Market capitalization: $205.68 Billion (source)

Employees on LinkedIn: 194,312

With headquarters in San Francisco, California, Wells Fargo Bank has over 9,000 retail banking stores and offices across all 50 states and over 12,000 ATMs, making it the largest bank by branch network in the United States of America (source).

Over 22 million Wells Fargo customers actively use its online services, and over 10 million use its mobile banking platform (source).

Wells Fargo is one of the largest banks in the United States, with over $1.9 trillion in assets and serving one in three U.S. households (source).

4. Morgan Stanley – bank focused on securities, investment management, and wealth management

Market capitalization: $146.81 Billion (source)

Employees on LinkedIn: 87,673

With over 80,000 employees worldwide and operating in more than 40 countries, Morgan Stanley is a multinational investment bank with a noteworthy global presence (source).

The company, headquartered in New York City, played a key role in financing and providing advisory services to tech companies during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, helping to fuel the industry’s growth (source).

Morgan Stanley operates through three main segments: institutional securities, wealth management, and investment management (source).

5. Charles Schwab Corporation – one of the top investment banks in innovations

Market capitalization: $133.23 Billion (source)

Employees on LinkedIn: 31,371

Charles Schwab revolutionized the investment industry by democratizing access to investing through innovations like 24/7 quotes and online trading (source).

The company operates through two main segments: investment management services and advisory services, providing a range of financial products and services to its clients (source).

As of 2023, Charles Schwab Corporation had over $8.5 trillion in total client assets and served 34.8 million active brokerage accounts (source).

6. Goldman Sachs – offering a full range of corporate and investment banking services

Market capitalization: $130.82 Billion (source)

Employees on LinkedIn: 55,385

The Goldman Sachs Group has played a significant role in some of the largest and most notable deals on Wall Street, including major mergers, acquisitions, and initial public offerings (source).

Often called one of the most prestigious investment banks, Goldman Sachs offers a wide range of financial services, including investment banking, asset management, securities trading, and wealth management for high-net-worth individuals (source).

This investment banking company also has a considerable global presence, with offices and operations in major financial centers around the world (source).

7. Citigroup – financial services corporation attuned to global markets

Market capitalization: $111.23 Billion (source)

Employees on LinkedIn: 191,905

Citigroup is one of the largest and most diversified financial services companies in the world, with over $2.4 trillion in assets as of 2023 (source).

The company has over 200 million customers in more than 100 countries across six continents, making it a truly global investment banking and financial services company (source).

As of 2023, Citi had over $2.4 trillion in total assets, making it one of the biggest investment banks in the world (source).

Citi is also known for its commitment to sustainability. It has set goals to support environmental and social responsibility initiatives, such as financing sustainable projects and reducing its own environmental footprint (source).

8. U.S. Bancorp – the growing bank recognized for its ethics

Market capitalization: $61.52 Billion (source)

Employees on LinkedIn: 77,479

U.S. Bancorp, the parent company of the U.S. Bank National Association, is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and has over 3,000 branches and 4,700 ATMs primarily located in the Midwest and Western United States (source).

Currently the fifth largest bank in the United States, the firm has grown significantly through a series of mergers and acquisitions, including Vail Banks, Mellon 1st Business Bank, and Downey Savings & Loan (source).

This financial institution has been recognized for its ethical culture, diversity and inclusion practices, and digital capabilities (source).

9. PNC Financial Services – investment banking with a focus on cybersecurity

Market capitalization: $58.86 Billion (source)

Employees on LinkedIn: 67,650

PNC is a bank holding company and one of the most diversified financial services institutions in the United States, with over 2,400 branches and approximately 50,000 employees (source).

The firm sets a high priority on cybersecurity and data privacy, investing heavily in advanced measures to protect its customers’ sensitive information (source).

10. Capital One Financial Corp – one of the top banks focused on digital innovation

Market capitalization: $53.87 Billion (source)

Employees on LinkedIn: 55,959

This investment bank offers a portfolio of products and services that includes savings accounts, loans, capital markets solutions, commercial banking and small enterprise lending, investment services, and credit/debit cards (source).

Capital One has a strong focus on technology and innovation, investing in digital capabilities to enhance the customer experience for its diversified client base (source).

Top banks and financial institutions of tomorrow

The best investment banks in the US and other firms in the finance industry have had to adapt their operations and business models to keep up with the changing global investment landscape. When looking at the big picture, the shift towards more specialized institutions that form interconnected ecosystems is clearly visible. 

Some significant trends impacting financial institutions include sustainable finance, blockchain, robotic process automation, and RegTech. For investment banks, such innovations represent both challenges to overcome and opportunities for growth and innovation.

In the coming years, the investment banking industry will have to leverage external consulting partners and service providers to optimize certain functions and reap the benefits of disruptive technologies and modern data analytics. Emerging trends will force investment banks ranked here to transform themselves further in order to compete in the constantly evolving banking and finance landscape.

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