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Financial trading organizations are among some of the biggest in the world. Many of these trading firms in the list below are part of larger global investment banks. Traders engage in the buying and selling bonds, stocks, futures, and shares in hedge funds. Stock traders also research how financial markets perform.
Financial trading is essentially just the buying and selling of financial assets. This is done in one of two ways, either via an exchange or over the counter. An exchange is a marketplace where you can trade a specific type of asset. Over-the-counter trades are made directly between two parties.
Below we list and discuss in more detail the top ten largest trading companies in the United States.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. New York, New York, USA
2020 Annual Revenue: $119.54 billion
This American investment bank and financial services holding company is one of the leading providers of investment banking and financial services. Along with Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase makes up one of America’s Big Four banks. The company is considered to be a universal bank and a custodian bank.
JPMorgan Chase is the result of a number of combinations of large U.S. banking companies since 1996. These include Chase Manhattan Bank, J.P. Morgan &Co., Bank One, Bear Stearns, and Washington Mutual. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is a truly global bank with headquarters and operation centers located across the globe.
Their most recent global operations center opened in 2017 in Warsaw, Poland. JPMorgan Chase also participates in several major sponsorships including Major League Soccer, Chase Field (MLB), and Chase Center (NBA).
Citigroup. New York, New York, USA
2020 Annual Revenue: $74.3 billion
Citigroup Inc., often referred to as Citi, is a business formed from the merging of Citicorp and financial conglomerate Travelers Group in 1998. This $140 billion merger created, at the time, the world’s largest financial services organization.
Currently, this American multinational investment bank and financial services corporation is the third-largest banking institution in the United States. It is one of the nine global investment banks in the Bulge Bracket.
In February 2021, Citigroup made history when CEO Michael Corbat retired and was replaced by Jane Fraser, the first woman CEO of a major Wall Street bank.
Citigroup offers banking, consumer banking, corporate banking, insurance, investment banking, mortgage loans, private banking, private equity, wealth management, and credit cards. It is currently publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Bank of America Merrill Lynch. New York, New York, USA
2020 Annual Revenue: $85.52 billion
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, also referred to as BAML or BofA Securities, is an investment banking division of Bank of America. This organization provides services in mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt capital markets, lending, trading, risk management, research, and liquidity and payments management.
The corporation was founded after the merger of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch & Co.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch operates within four geographic divisions, making it a truly global business. Their four main hubs are in the Asia Pacific (Hong Kong), Europe, Middle East & Africa (London), Latin America, U.S., and Canada (New York, Jacksonville).
In 2010, BAML achieved one of the highest revenues of any investment bank worldwide 2010. The same year, it also achieved the highest revenues of any investment bank worldwide from leveraged loans and asset-backed securities.
HSBC. London, United Kingdom
2020 Annual Revenue: $50.429 billion
HSBC Holdings is a British investment bank and financial services holding company. HSBC is the largest bank in Europe, though it has a presence all over the world.
The business is organized into four different business groups, including commercial banking, global banking and markets (or investment banking), retail banking and wealth management, and global private banking.
In 2020, the business announced the consolidation of its retail banking and wealth management arm with global private banking to form a wealth & personal banking division.
Founded in 1865 by Thomas Autherland, HSBC was formerly known as The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. After a series of transformations, the business was incorporated in England and Wales, operating as a non-trading, dormant shelf company in 1991.
In 2000 the company began to expand into continental Europe, conducting a series of acquisitions and overcoming scandal setbacks. HSBC is listed on both the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange, with secondary listings on the NYSE, Euronext Paris, and the Bermuda Stock Exchange.
Morgan Stanley. New York, New York, USA
2020 Annual Revenue: $48.2 billion
Morgan Stanley is an American investment bank and financial services company with operations worldwide in over 42 countries. The organization boasts clients from corporations, governments, institutions, and individuals.
Morgan Stanley was formed in 1935 in response to the Glass-Steagall Act requiring the business to split commercial and investment banking businesses. Within its first year of operation, the business gained a 24% market share in public offerings and private placements.
The four main business areas for this company are institutional securities, wealth management, and investment management. The organization features its world headquarters in New York City with European headquarters in London and Asia Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong and Tokyo and Canadian headquarters in Toronto.
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. New York, New York, USA
2020 Annual Revenue: $44.6 billion
The Goldman Sachs Group offers investment management, securities, asset management, prime brokerage, and securities underwriting. This organization is one of the largest investment banking enterprises in the world and holds the primary dealer spot in the United States Treasury security market.
Goldman Sachs was founded in New York City in 1869 by Marcus Goldman. In 1882, Goldman’s son-in-law Samuel Sachs joined the company. By 1906, Goldman entered the initial public offering market.
Goldman Sachs was held under heavy scrutiny during the subprime mortgage crisis, causing the organization to suffer heavily during the financial crisis of 2007-2008. The company recovered and paid back its $10 billion investment in June 2009.
Their four units are investment banking (21% of total company revenue as of 2015), Global Markets (37% of revenue as of 2017), Asset Management (18% of total company revenues as of 2015), and Consumer & Wealth Management.
UBS Group, Inc. Zürich, Switzerland
2020 Annual Revenue: $29.3 billion
This Swiss multinational investment bank and financial services company is the largest Swiss banking institution in the world. The business is known for its strict bank-client confidentiality and culture of banking secrecy. The bank also holds large positions in the Americas, EMEA, and the Asia Pacific markets.
The company provides wealth management, asset management, and investment banking services for its clients, including private, corporate, and institutional clients.
UBS manages the largest private wealth globally, counting just about half of the world’s billionaires. They boast underground bank vaults, bunkers, and storage facilities for valuables like gold bars around the Swiss Alps and internationally. UBS is the 11th largest bank in Europe.
In 2016, the company established a blockchain technology research lab to advance cybersecurity and encryption for their clients.
Deutsche Bank AG. Frankfurt, Germany
2020 Annual Revenue: €24.028 billion
Deutsche Bank is a German multinational investment bank and financial services company. The company is listed on both the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.
It is the largest banking institution in Germany, offering three different divisions, including the Private & Commercial Bank, the Corporate & Investment Bank (CIB), and Asset Management (DWS).
They were founded in Berlin in 2870 as a specialist bank for financing foreign trade and promoting German exports. Its presence helped play a major role in the development of Germany’s industry. The bank expanded up until the second World War.
After Germany’s defeat, Deutsche Bank was broken up into regional banks. In 1957, the three banks merged once more to form Deutsche Bank AG. In October 2001, Deutsche Bank was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Barclays PLC. London, United Kingdom
2020 Annual Revenue: £21.766 billion
This British multinational investment bank and financial services company is made up of four different business segments that include personal banking, corporate banking, wealth management, and investment management.
Founded in 1690, Barclays origins trace back to a goldsmith banking business. Over the years its organization has evolved to become a joint-stock bank, a nationwide bank, and have a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange.
Barclays has had a series of firsts in the industry. In 1958, they were the first UK bank to appoint a female bank manager. In 1966, they launched the first credit card in the UK. In 1967, Barclays deployed the world’s first cash dispenser.
As of 2011, Barclays was considered the most powerful transnational corporations based on assets owned and corporate control over global financial stability and market competition.
Credit Suisse. Zürich, Switzerland
2020 Annual Revenue: CHF 22.4 billion
Credit Suisse Group AG is a global wealth manager, investment bank, and financial services institution.
They feature major financial centers worldwide and are one of the nine Bulge Bracket banks that provide investment banking, private banking, asset management, and share services. Like UBS Group, Credit Suisse is known for its strict bank-client confidentiality and banking secrecy.
Credit Suisse was first founded in 1956 to fund Switzerland’s developing rail system. Their loans created the Swiss electric grid and European rail systems. In the 1900s, Credit Suisse shifted to retail banking.
From 1990 to 2000, the company made a series of acquisitions to increase its market share and ventured on to restructure three times in 2002, 2004, and 2006.
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