This introductory chapter discusses the types of securities that firms issue, and describes the investment banks that support their issue. The major business lines of the modern investment bank are investment banking, trading, asset management, and advisory work: each of these is explained and the structure of the modern investment banking industry is discussed. Data are presented showing the current size of the securities markets and the recent evolution of these markets. The relative importance of the various activities of the modern investment bank is analysed, and market trends in the organization and scale of the leading investment banks are presented.
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