The ‘FIG’ at an investment bank usually refers to the financial institutions group. This is a group of professionals that provide investment banking and merger and acquisition expertise to financial institutions. In order to provide more tailored services, some investment banks may segment areas of expertise for the financial institutions group into a banking or financial services group and an insurance group. Some investment banks use these sorts of divisions more as a marketing technique which can help attract customers seeking specific types of services under the FIG umbrella.
Nearly all of the large banks have a FIG business integrated with their overall investment banking offering. Some of the larger investment banks with a FIG business include Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. The FIG business can represent a variety of clients seeking services ranging from initial public offerings, to financings and buyouts. FIG businesses can represent both public and private companies. Investment banking FIG businesses may offer specific expertise in certain market segments or have specialists that can work across many segments. Generally, large FIG businesses will service a variety of needs for financial institutions. FIG businesses may be siloed or integrated with broad services for all the major sectors including: health care, industrial, media, telecommunications, mining, energy, retail, technology and real estate.
Some examples of ideal FIG clients include insurance companies specializing in personal or commercial insurance products, commercial finance companies that provide financial services to businesses, banks, brokerages, investment dealers, asset and wealth management companies, emerging companies seeking to go public, and private companies seeking financing through a private placement. The services that the FIGs may provide to clients include, but are not limited to: private and public equity financing, private and public debt financing, recapitalization, financial restructurings, mergers, acquisitions, corporate valuations, expert financial opinions, corollary analysis, and comprehensive advisory services. FIG business structures can range broadly across the industry. Some FIG business may be located within a large investment bank culture. Some FIG businesses may be smaller entities with a focus primarily on one of the above mentioned service offerings.
Investment banks and their FIG businesses typically hire analysts with Ivy League credentials. Many investment banks also have training programs which help educate analysts on the important aspects of the business’s offerings with a multitude of opportunities available after the training program ends.