Are you about starting an investment bank? If YES, here is a complete sample investment bank business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE. Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting an investment bank. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample investment bank marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for investment banks. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.

Why Start an Investment Bank?

If you have enough cash to invest and also friends and partners who can raise you cash plus people who are interested in investing their cash with the aim of getting returns without bothering themselves with running a business, then you should think towards starting an investment bank.

Investment banking has to do with starting a financial institution that helps individuals, corporations, and even governments raise capital by acting as the client’s agent in the issuance of securities. This kind of venture needs the effort of more than one person and it is also a very lucrative business.

You will need a large financial base if you truly want to successfully run your investment bank and you will also need investment experts to be part of your team.

The truth is that there are loads of stuffs you need to learn if you intend making a success from this business. So, in order to get started, take out time to read up all you can on investment banks and investment vehicles and also you can under study a successful investment bank to know how they operate and make their money.

Business plan is yet another very important business document that you should not take for granted when launching your investment bank. Below is a sample investment bank business plan template that can help you to successfully write your own with little or no hassles.

A Sample Investment Bank Business Plan Template

1. Industry Overview

Businesses that operate in the Investment Banking and Securities Dealing industry comprises of businesses that provide a wide range of securities services, which include investment banking and broker-dealer trading services.

They also offer banking and wealth management services and engage in proprietary trading (trading their own capital for a profit) in varying degrees. Investment banking services include securities underwriting and corporate financial services while trading services include market making and broker-dealer services.

In the face of fee growth from the Investment Banking and Securities Dealing industry’s traditional underwriting and advisory services, both cyclical and structural influences on trading activity have ultimately affected revenue generation for operators in the industry in recent years. The revenue generated by players in this industry is expected to decline.

Most of the troubles experienced in the industry in recent time emanates from fixed income, commodities and currencies (FICC) trading operations. Expensive capital requirements and the trend of transitioning derivative trading to central clearinghouses are anticipated to structurally diminish the industry’s fixed income, commodities and currencies (FICC) revenue.

The Investment Banking and Securities Dealing industry will continue to experience growth in all parts of the world especially in developed countries such as united states of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, South Korea, Japan and China et al.

Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 8,691 licensed and registered Investment Banking and Securities Dealing Companies scattered all across the length and breadth of the country and they are responsible for employing about 100,472 employees.

The industry rakes in a whooping sum of $105 billion annually with an annual growth rate projected at -13.0 percent within 2011 and 2016. The organizations that are leaders in the industry are; Bank of America, Citigroup Inc., JP Morgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley and The Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

A report recently published by IBISWorld shows that while the number of industry activities has not deviated dramatically over the five-year period, the share of revenue that each activity accounts for has undergone substantial volatility.

The report also started that products and services in the Investment Banking and Securities Dealing industry vary considerably on a company-by-company basis, largely depending on operator size. The report further stated that small- and medium-size investment banks target niche industries and small companies and rely more heavily on traditional investment banking activities such as underwriting and financial advisory. Alternatively, major industry players earn a substantial share of revenue from trading activities.

One factor that encourages entrepreneurs to start their own investment banking business could be that despite the fact the business in capital intensive and the risks are high, it is indeed a thriving and profitable business venture for high end entrepreneurs.

Starting an investment bank requires professionalism and good grasp of how investment works on a global platform. Besides, you would need to get the required certifications and license and also meet the standard capitalization for such business before you can be allowed to start an investment bank in the United States.

2. Executive Summary

Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc. is a registered, licensed and accredited investment bank that will be based in Westchester County – New York.

We are in business to engage in a wide range of securities services which include investment banking and broker-dealer trading services. Of course we will also offer banking and wealth management services and engage in proprietary trading.

Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc. is a client – focused and result driven investment bank that plays by the rules and also provides broad – based services. We will offer trusted and profitable services to all our clients at local, state, national, and international levels. We will ensure that we work hard to meet and surpass our clients’ expectations whenever we take control of any company.

At Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc., our client’s best interest would always come first, and everything will be guided by our values and professional ethics. We will ensure that we hire professionals who are experienced in the stock exchange and other investment portfolios with good track record of return on investments.

Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc. will at all times demonstrate her commitment to sustainability by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible. We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely.

Our plan is to position the business to become one of the leading brands in the investment and business management line in the whole of Westchester County, and also to be amongst the top 25 investment banks in the United States of America within the first 15 years of operation.

This might look too tall a dream but we are optimistic that this will surely be realized because we have done our research and feasibility studies and we are confident that New York is the right place to launch our investment bank.

Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc. is founded by Shannon Stevens and other business partners. Shannon Stevens has a B.Sc. in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and MBA in Economics from Columbia Business School.

Investing is a family trait Shannon inherited from his father, a stockbroker and U.S. congressman, in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. At the age of 11, Shannon made his first investment, and by the age of 13 he was selling homemade cookies and cupcakes and operating a paper delivery service. Shannon is a Certified Investment Banking IT Professional (CIBIT) and Certified Investment Banker –CIB.

3. Our Products and Services

Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc. is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the Investment Banking and Securities Dealing industry. We want to compete favorably with the leading wealth management firms in the United States which is why we have but in place a competent team that will ensure that we meet and even surpass our customers’ expectations.

We are in the Investment Banking and Securities Dealing industry to make profits and we will ensure that we do all that is permitted by the law in the United States of America to achieve our aims and ambitions of setting up the business Our services and products are listed below;

  • Underwriting services (debt)
  • Trading and related services
  • Underwriting services (equity)
  • Corporate finance services
  • Other financial advisory and consultancy services

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our vision is to build an investment bank that will become one of the top choices for investors in the whole of Westchester County – New York.
  • Our mission is to position the business to become one of the leading brands in the investment banking line of business in the whole of Westchester County, and also to be among the top 25 investment banks in the United States of America within the first 15 years of operation.

Our Business Structure

As part of our plans to build a standard investment bank in Westchester County – New York, we have perfected plans to get it right from the beginning which is why we are going the extra mile to ensure that we want qualified, competent, honest and hardworking employees to occupy all the available positions in our firm. Below is the business structure that we will build Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc.;

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Investment Banking Officer
  • Admin and HR Manager
  • Risk Manager
  • Marketing and Sales Executive
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO) / Chief Accounting Officer (CAO).
  • Customer Care Executive / Front Desk Officer

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Office:

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, appraising job results and developing incentives
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)/Chief Accounting Officer (CAO)

  • Accountable for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Prepares the income statement and balance sheet using the trial balance and ledgers prepared by the bookkeeper.
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports; analyzes financial feasibility for the most complex proposed projects; conducts market research to forecast trends and business conditions.
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
  • Accountable for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the company
  • Serves as internal auditor for the company

Investment Banking Officer

  • Carries out underwriting services (debt), trading and related services, underwriting services (equity), corporate finance services and other financial advisory and consultancy services
  • Creates research and review platforms for new, existing and potential investment products
  • Works closely with analysts and traders to ensure trading strategy is carried out correctly
  • Constructs and review performance reports to show to investors
  • Performs due diligence visits and assessing investment management firms and quantitatively analyzing investment pools
  • Has extensive knowledge of industry policies and regulations set in place by the SEC
  • Focusing on capital introductions and networking to sign up new investors

Risk Manager

  • Plans, designs and implements an overall risk management process for the organization;
  • Risks assessment, which involves analyzing risks as well as identifying, describing and estimating the risks affecting the business;
  • Risks evaluation, which involves comparing estimated risks with criteria established by the organization such as costs, legal requirements and environmental factors, and evaluating the organization’s previous handling of risks;
  • Establishes and quantifies the organization’s ‘risk appetite’, i.e. the level of risk they are prepared to accept;
  • Risks reporting in an appropriate way for different audiences, for example, to the board of directors so they understand the most significant risks, to business heads to ensure they are aware of risks relevant to their parts of the business and to individuals to understand their accountability for individual risks;
  • Corporates governance involving external risk reporting to stakeholders;
  • Conducts audits of policy and compliance to standards, including liaison with internal and external auditors;

Admin and HR Manager

  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Designs job descriptions with KPI to drive performance management for clients
  • Regularly hold meetings with key stakeholders to review the effectiveness of HR Policies, Procedures and Processes
  • Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
  • Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
  • Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carries out induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
  • Oversees the smooth running of the daily office activities.

Marketing/Investors Relations Officer

  • Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new partners, and business opportunities
  • Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts;
  • Writes winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with company policy
  • Responsible for handling business research, marker surveys and feasibility studies
  • Documents all customer contact and information
  • Represents the company in strategic meetings
  • Helps to increase sales and growth for the company

Client Service Executive/Front Desk Officer

  • Welcomes guests and clients by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
  • Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s services
  • Manages administrative duties assigned by the manager in an effective and timely manner
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the company’s products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients
  • Receives parcels/documents for the company
  • Distribute mails in the organization

6. SWOT Analysis

Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc. engaged the services of professionals in the area of business structuring to assist our organization in building a well – structured investment bank that can favorably compete in the highly competitive Investment Banking and Securities Dealing industry.

Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc.;

  • Strength:

Top on the list when it comes to the strength of the team is our workforce. We have a team that can give our clients good returns on their investment, and also increase our annual returns; a team that are trained and equipped to pay attention to details and to deliver excellent jobs. We are well positioned and we know we will attract loads of accredited investors from the first day we open our doors for business.

  • Weakness:

As a new investment bank, it might take some time for our organization to break into the market and gain acceptance especially from big – time investors, that is perhaps our major weakness. So also, we may not have the required cash to give our business the kind of publicity we would have loved to.

  • Opportunities:

The opportunities in the Investment Banking and Securities Dealing industry is massive considering the number of companies and individuals who would need to invest their money. As a standard and accredited investment bank, we are ready to take advantage of any opportunity that comes our way.

  • Threat:

Investment banks and their operations involves large amount of cash and it is known to be a very high – risk venture hence, whoever chooses to manage it must not just have solid investment background, but must also know how to handle risks and discover potential thriving businesses and opportunities.

The truth is that if you are not grounded in risk management, you may likely mismanage peoples’ monies and investment. Just as in any other business and investment vehicles, economic downturn, unstable financial market and unfavorable government economic policies can hamper the growth and profitability of investment banks.


  • Market Trends

A close watch of the Investment Banking and Securities Dealing industry shows that in the dawn of recessionary declines, the industry is expected to continue on a path to growth, but not without a few more ups and downs. As a result of this trend, the Investment Banking and Securities Dealing industry revenue is expected to grow over the five-year period at an annualized rate of 9.1 percent to $42.9 billion in 2016.

The revenue growth for the industry was restrained in the early part of the period as the industry was reluctant to bounce back from the financial crisis and subsequent recession of the prior period that caused stock markets and business activity to dramatically contract in the United States and of course in the global market.

On the average, it is trendy to find investment banks employ strategies that can help them reduce market risk specifically by shorting equities or through the use of derivatives.

8. Our Target Market

Our responsibility is not just to raise capital but also to look for companies where the capital can be invested (buying over a good percentage of their shares) and that can generate good returns over a period of time. The truth is that it takes a core professional to be able to identify a company that has the potential to grow and become profitable if funds are pumped into it.

As a standard, accredited and licensed investment bank, Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc. offers a wide range of investment portfolio management services hence we are well trained and equipped to manage and provide oversight functions for established companies.

Our target market cuts across businesses and investors that have the required capital to invest in companies and other investment portfolios. We are coming into the industry with a business concept that will enable us produce good returns on investment for ourselves and our clients. Below is a list of individuals and organizations that we have specifically designed and services for;

  • Accredited Investors
  • Investment Clubs
  • Top corporate executives
  • Corporate Organizations / Blue Chip Companies
  • Celebrities
  • Business man and women
  • Small and medium scales businesses
  • Startups

Our competitive advantage

Despite the fact that investment banks give huge returns on investment, it is indeed a risky venture. For you to survive as an investment bank, you should be able to come up with workable investment and business management strategies; strategies that will help you attract the required capital and above all you should be a good risk manager and one that can spot a good business from afar.

We are quite aware that to be highly competitive in the Investment Banking and Securities Dealing industry means that we should be able to give good returns on investments to our clients, turn around the fortunes of a dying company, spot potential successful business ideas and invest in them, deliver consistent quality service, our clients should be satisfied with our investment strategies and we should be able to meet the expectations of clients.

Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc. might be a new entrant into the industry in the United States of America, but our management and staff are considered gurus. They are licensed and highly trained portfolio management experts in the United States. These are part of what will count as a competitive advantage for us.

Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry meaning that they will be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our aims and objectives.


  • Sources of Income

Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc. is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the Investment Banking and Securities Dealing industry and we are going to ensure that we do all it takes to attract clients on a regular basis. Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc. will generate income by offering the following investment related services;

  • Underwriting services (debt)
  • Trading and related services
  • Underwriting services (equity)
  • Corporate finance services
  • Other financial advisory and consultancy services

10. Sales Forecast

One thing is certain, there would always be accredited investors who would need the services of tested and trusted investment banks.

We are well positioned to take on the available market in Westchester County and other key cities in the United States of America and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough income from the first six months of operation and grow the business and our clientele base beyond Westchester County.

We have been able to examine the Investment Banking and Securities Dealing industry, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast.

Below is the sales projection for Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc., it is based on the location of our business and the wide range of investment management services that we will be offering;

  • First Fiscal Year: $1 Million
  • Second Fiscal Year: $ 2.5 Million
  • Third Fiscal Year: $5 Million

N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor offering same services as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

We are mindful of the fact that there are stiff competitions amongst investment banks and other related financial investment vehicles in the United States of America, hence we have been able to hire some of the best business developers to handle our sales and marketing.

Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be equipped to meet the overall goal of the organization. We will also ensure that our return on investment and excellent job deliveries speaks for us in the market place.

Our goal is to grow our investment bank to become one of the top 25 investment banks in the United States of America which is why we have mapped out strategies that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force to reckon with not only in the Westchester County but also in other cities in the United States.

Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc. is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;

  • Introduce our business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to corporate organizations, startups, accredited investors, entrepreneurs and key stake holders in Westchester County and other cities in the United States
  • Advertise our business in relevant financial and business-related magazines, newspapers, TV and radio stations
  • List our business on yellow pages’ ads (local directories)
  • Attend relevant international and local finance and business expos, seminars, and business fairs
  • Create different packages for different category of clients (startups and established corporate organizations) in order to work with their budgets and still deliver good returns on investment
  • Leverage on the internet to promote our business
  • Engage direct marketing approach
  • Encourage word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied clients

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

The uniqueness of the Investment Banking and Securities Dealing industry is such that it is the results they produce that helps boost their brand awareness. Investment banks are strategic when it comes to inviting investors to invest in a project or when it comes to acquiring a struggling company.

It will be out of place to boost your investment bank brand if you have not proven your worth in the industry. If you have successfully proven that you have what it takes to operate a successful investment bank, then you next port of call is to strategically engage the media to help you promote your brand and create a positive corporate identity.

Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc.;

  • Place adverts on both print (community based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community based events/programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms to promote our brand
  • Install our billboards in strategic locations all around Westchester County.
  • Ensure that all our workers wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles are well branded with our company’s logo.

12. Our Pricing Strategy

Investment banks are known to generate income from returns on their investment in companies and other investment portfolios hence there are no pricing models for this type of business. But on the other hand, they tend to negotiate with their financial partners on percentage whenever they invest their money in an investment vehicle handled by a venture capitalist firm.

At Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc. we will ensure that we give good returns on investment (ROI) and always maximize profits.

  • Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc. is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America. Here are the payment options that Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc. will make available to her clients;

  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via bank draft

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for investment without any stress on their part.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

The cost of starting an investment bank is in the two – folds; the cost of setting up the office structure and the capital meant for investment. The amount required to invest in this line of business could range from 1 Million to even multiple Millions of Dollars. So, you must employ aggressive strategies to pool such cash together.

As regards the cost of setting up the office structure, your concern should be to secure a good office facility in a busy business district; it can be expensive though, but that is one of the factors that will help you position your firm to attract the kind of investors you would need. This is the financial projection and costing for Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc.;

  • The total fee for incorporating the business in the United States of America – $750.
  • The budget for basic insurance policy covers, permits and business license – $2,500
  • The amount needed to acquire a suitable Office facility in a business district 6 month (Re – Construction of the facility inclusive) – $40,000.
  • The cost for equipping the office (computers, software applications, printers, fax machines, furniture, telephones, filing cabins, safety gadgets and electronics et al) – $5,000
  • The cost of the required software applications (CRM software, Accounting and Bookkeeping software and Payroll software et al) – $10,500
  • The cost of Launching your official Website – $600
  • Budget for paying at least three employees for 3 months plus utility bills – $10,000
  • Additional expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al) – $2,500
  • Investment fund – 1 Million Dollars
  • Miscellaneous: $1,000

Going by the report from the market research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need $150,000 excluding $1M investment capital to successfully set up a medium scale but standard investment bank in the United States of America.

Generating Startup Capital for Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc.

Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc. will be owned and managed by Shannon Stevens and other partners. They are the financier of the firm, but may likely welcome other partners later which is why they decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital for the business to just three major sources.

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings
  • Source for soft loans from family members and other investors

N.B: We have been able to generate about $150,000 (Personal savings $100,000 and soft loan from family members $50,000). Please note that we have perfected plans to generate $1 million dollars from accredited investors whose names can’t be mentioned for obvious reasons.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business, then it won’t be too long before the business closes shop.

One of our major goals of starting Platform™ Investment Bank, Inc. is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running. We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to give investors under our business good returns on their investment.

We will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner of our business strategy.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more as determined by the board of the organization. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Incorporation: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Securing a standard office facility in Westchester County: Completed
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating part of the startup capital from the founder: Completed
  • Applications for Loan from our Bankers: In Progress
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Printing of Promotional Materials: Completed
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the needed software applications, furniture, office equipment, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business (Business PR): In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
  • Establishing business relationship with key players in the industry: In Progress