The finance industry keeps the money flowing. It powers the global economy by managing assets, funding business ventures, and creating financial products and services. It is quite difficult to answer the question, what is the finance field? It’s a vast and diverse area of business and economics that accommodates every financial institute from the biggest financial companies and banks in the world to the most innovative fintech startup that has just started its journey.
We will discuss what companies are in the financial sector and take a look at the top 5 biggest companies in the finance field exploring what they do and how they operate. These are also the best finance companies to work in.
Here’s a list of the biggest finance companies we are going to discuss in the post
- Berkshire Hathaway
- Ping An Insurance Group
- Capital One
- JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Before we jump into the exploration of these finance giants let us quickly familiarize ourselves with the different types of financial institutes.
The finance industry is composed of various types of financial institutions. Each has some unique traits and some shared functions. Let’s quickly learn about six of the most common types of finance and financial services companies.
Banks are the most common type of financial institutions that provide financial services like savings accounts, deposits and withdrawals of funds, loans, credit cards, and investments. Some of the largest banks include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.
2. Insurance Companies:
Insurance companies provide risk coverage for risks events like accidents, medical emergencies, and death. Some large insurance companies are Allianz, AXA, and Prudential Financial.
3. Investment Banks:
Investment banks provide advice on corporate transactions. They are involved in facilitating mergers, acquisitions, and initial public offerings (IPOs). Some of the largest investment banks are Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley.
4. Asset Management Companies:
Asset management companies help their clients manage investment portfolios. The funds they manage include pension funds, mutual funds, and personal finances of high net worth individuals. Some significant asset management companies include BlackRock, Vanguard, and Fidelity Investments.
5. Credit Unions:
Credit unions are financial cooperatives owned and controlled by their members. The services offered by credit unions are not much unlike banks. Some large credit unions include Navy Federal Credit Union and State Employees’ Credit Union.
6. Hedge Funds:
Hedge funds invest in a variety of assets, and draw profits by employing complex trading strategies. Some Hedge Funds are Bridgewater Associates, Renaissance Technologies, and Citadel LLC.
Now that you know what is the finance field and what sort of companies are in the finance sector, it is time to learn about five of the largest finance companies in the world.
Top 5 Finance Companies in the World
1. Berkshire Hathaway
Berkshire Hathaway, one of the biggest finance companies in the USA, has an interesting and a little complicated history. Its origins can be traced to a textile mill called Valley Falls company founded by Oliver Chace in 1839. In 1929 Chace’s mill merged with the Berkshire Cotton company which was founded in 1889.
The new merged company was called Berkshire Spinning Associates. In 1955 the Berkshire Spinning Associates merged with Hathaway Manufacturing Company founded by Horatio Hathaway and became Berkshire Hathaway. They had 15 plants and over $120 million in revenue.
However, the textile business was waning and a lot of their operations were shutting down. At such a point Warren Buffett started buying Berkshire Hathaway stocks and he assumed control of the company by 1965. Since then, Berkshire Hathaway had been reducing their ventures in the textile business and increased their investments in finance and insurance business. The last of their textile operations were closed in 1985.
Currently Berkshire Hathaway is a holding conglomerate that holds businesses in insurance, energy, manufacturing, and retail. Warren Buffett, the CEO of the company is one of the richest people on Earth. Berkshire Hathaway has a market cap of $714.45 billion as of 21/04/2023. The company is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska.
2. Ping An Assurance Group
Ping An Assurance Group, commonly known as Ping An China, is a Chinese multinational conglomerate that was founded in 1988 by Ma Mingzhe. The company is headquartered in Shenzhen, China. They offer a range of financial services with primary focus on insurance. Their customer base is 210 million strong and their current market cap is over $127.4 billion.
AXA is a French Multinational insurance company spread across 51 countries and headquartered in Paris. The insurance company employs more than 145000 personnel and has a customer base of 93 million. The company was formed in 1946 and its current market cap is 66.98 billion Euro. Insurance aside, AXA partakes in investment management and other financial services across Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.
4. Capital One
Capital One is a financial services company based in the United States. It serves a large number of consumers and commercial clients, and small businesses. Capital One offers a range of banking and financial services in the US as well as internationally. It is one of the largest banks in America.
Their services include checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loans. Capital One is well known for its technology-driven personalized banking services. The company was founded in 1994 by Richard Fairbank and Nigel Morris in Richmond, Virginia. It currently has a market cap of $37.20 billion.
5. JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is one of the world’s biggest finance companies that provides consumer banking, commercial banking, investment banking, asset management, and wealth management. Founded in 2000, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has swiftly grown to become the largest bank in the United States, and the world’s largest bank in terms of market cap. The company currently has a market cap of $412.78 billion.
The world of finance is controlled by a few giants like the ones we’ve discussed and some others that we’ve missed like Goldman Sachs, and American Express. But there are an increasing number of small and mid-sized finance and fintech companies that hold the potential of becoming the biggest financial services companies. So, keep your eyes up.