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A look at the top financial companies

A financial company is an organization that lends to individuals and businesses, corporates, other institutions, etc. They give credit to a bank but do not accept any deposit. They also take funds from the banks and money market. They provide finance for a variety of plans and they can be affiliated to a firm or holding company.

They are engaged in financial activities to the tune of 85% of their annual gross revenue or assets. This covers an entire gamut of financial services like credit unions, insurance companies, money market funds, asset managers, hedge funds, private equity firms, mobile payment systems, micro-lenders and peer-to-peer lenders.

This sector includes banks, insurance companies, credit card firms, real estate companies. They serve retail and commercial consumers. The latest trend is specialization and globalization where they target the consumers for specific services and are looking to expand into developing countries. Here’s a brief run down of some of the top financial companies.

Berkshire Hathaway: Berkshire Hathaway is one of the top financial companies that is very well-known for having the most expensive stock in the world. It is also a multinational conglomerate. It has nearly always remained in the list of top financial companies in the US. It was composed of primarily insurance companies, including GEICO and National Indemnity. It also owns the many companies involved in real estate, transportation, furniture and jewelry companies, including banks. Directed by Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway has a successful financial record which it acquired over the years. Its most recent acquisitions is the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad company.

American Express: American Express (AE), a Fortune 100 company and a part of the component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), is a multinational firm, and another company that has faithfully retained its position amongst the top financial companies in the country since its inception. They offer a variety of credit card services worldwide. It is the oldest financial firms in America, dating to 1850. It is one of the first companies to offer charge cards. Although they have faced competition from Visa, MasterCard, American Express has continued to make progress in this field. They have expanded and have co-branded the cards with hotels, travels services, and prepaid cards.

Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo is a financial services company and a global bank. By market capitalization standards, it is regarded as the largest bank in the United States, and is among the 100 largest U.S. corporations. Wells Fargo operates out of 30 countries. It has the distinction of holding the first bank charter issued in the U.S.A.
E-Trade Financial Corporation: E-Trade Financial Corporation was the first online discount brokerage firm which was targeting the self-directed investors. It has continued to expand its business. It has received many awards and is ranked consistently in the top three online discount stock brokerage firms. They have grown into offering banking services like sweep accounts that allow automatic transfer back and forth between savings, brokerage accounts and checking accounts.

JPMorgan Asset Management Holdings Inc.: JPMorgan Asset Management Holdings Inc. it operates as an investment management arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co. It has a global network of research and client services in 30 countries and reaches clients in 130 countries. It has over $1.7 billion in assets under management. They offer corporations, charitable foundations, financial intermediaries, and other institutional investors a selection of investment strategies well suited to their region. They also have over half of the world’s largest pension plans including retail investment products, ETFs, mutual funds and 529 plans.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC: J.P. Morgan Securities LLC has a range of investment banking services for large institutions, corporations and private wealth management services all these for the high-net-worth individuals. In investment banking they offer debt, equity underwriting, corporate restructuring, mergers, acquisitions and advisory services. For Private wealth management, this firm provides complete tailored services for their clients.

Blackrock/iShares: Blackrock was one of the first companies, with Vanguard, to see value in passive management. They manage more than $3.85 trillion in total assets in mutual funds; including exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other products. They boast of more than $4.77 trillion in AUM.
Vanguard: The largest mutual fund company is Vanguard Group. It is a winner in low-cost investing allowing investors to keep more returns and they market aggressively as Vanguard. The Vanguard mutual fund is estimated at $3.1 trillion in AUM. They offer a large number of products and the customers reach out to them in large numbers.

State Street Global Advisors: They have over $2 trillion in AUM. They have offices in 16 countries. They quadrupled the total AUM in a period of five years. This is among the top financial companies to invest in.

Fidelity Investments: Fidelity Investments is a household name in finance and has earned their repute as a good mutual fund and brokerage firm. They are well known for their customer service and online support. Except they have a very high minimum threshold.

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