Investment banks help companies and governments (or their agencies) raise money by issuing and selling securities in the capital markets (both equity and debt).
Almost all investment banks also offer strategic advisory services for mergers, acquisitions, divestiture or other financial services for clients, such as the trading of derivatives, fixed income, foreign exchange, commodity, and equity securities.
Trading securities for cash or securities (i.e., facilitating transactions, market-making), or the promotion of securities (i.e., underwriting, research, etc.) is referred to as the "sell side".
The "buy side" constitutes the pension funds, mutual funds, hedge funds, and the investing public who consume the products and services of the sell-side in order to maximize their return on investment. Many firms have both buy and sell side components.
2007-12-09 : 22:21:30 -p