Investment banks work with companies needing capital, usually the CFO, to work out the best method to obtain needed financing. Usually the company has the ability to issue stock, preferred stock, bonds, debentures, or a variety of debt instruments. The investment bank knows the markets and looks for the most cost effective source of financing that meets the company's requirements. They price the issue, decide what features are needed to make it profitable, estimate what bond rating it will likely succeed, and then shepard the deal through meeting legal requirements and finally issuing and distribution.
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