What Companies Are In the Finance Field?

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September 1, 2022
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When the majority of world cultures use currency in exchange for goods and services, there needs to be large infrastructure to keep systems regulated and moving smoothly. That’s where the financial sector, and the companies that make it up, come into play.  

You may already know a few companies in the finance sector, just from going about your day-to-day life. Many people bank at major institutions like Bank of America, or use credit cards issued by American Express. When people seek out mortgages, companies like Fannie Mae are there to assist with the process. 

If you are looking into the financial field, it’s good to understand the companies that hold the most opportunities. Read on to learn about what companies are in the finance field. 

American Express 

Company size: 63,700 as of December 2020

Headquarters location: New York City 

Website: americanexpress.com

This company issues credits cards to customers, processes card payments and offers travel-related services. Founded in 1850 as an express delivery company, American Express has grown and evolved over the past 150-plus years.The company entered financial services when it launched its Money Order and Travelers Cheque products between 1882 and 1895. From there, the company exchanged currency at Ellis Island, entered the travel business and, in 1958, introduced the first American Express Card. Currently, the company offers clients multiple payment solutions, travel-planning services and credit cards for businesses and individuals. 

Bank of America 

Company size: 200,000 as of 2020

Headquarters location: Charlotte, North Carolina 

Website: bankofamerica.com

The second-largest banking organization in the United States, Bank of America was originally the Bank of Italy. Founded in 1904 by Amadeo Peter Giannini, the Bank of Italy operated in San Francisco and in 1928, merged with Bank of America, Los Angeles. Since then, Bank of America has grown and now boasts more than 4,000 branches and 16,000 ATMs across the United States. Within the past 20 years, the institution has solidified its position in the financial sector by acquiring National Processing in 2004, merging with MBNA Corporation in 2006 and acquiring U.S. Trust Corporation in 2007. Today, Bank of America is a leader in wealth management, corporate banking, investment banking and trading.

BNY Mellon

Company size: 48,400 as of 2019

Headquarters: New York City

Website: bnymellon.com

BNY Mellon—or, Bank of New York prior to 2007—was founded in 1784 by Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr and Thomas Mellon. The bank helped the United States in securing its first loan, and  is the third-oldest bank in the United States, in addition to being the oldest continually operating bank. In 2007, Bank of New York merged with Mellon Financial Corporation to become BNY Mellon. Throughout the years, the bank has primarily focused on commercial banking and trust and investment services; however, since the merger, BNY Mellon has focused on securities processing and asset management. 


Company size: 210,000 as of 2020

Headquarters location: New York City 

Website: citigroup.com

By the early 1800s, the financial industry was booming, with large institutions formed in Philadelphia, Boston and Baltimore. New York wanted its own establishment and City Bank of New York was established in 1812. The bank helped finance the United States during the War of 1812, as well as backed the Union during the American Civil War. In the early 20th century, the bank established The National City Company, an investment affiliate that expanded the bank’s services. Over the next century, the institution evolved, changing its name to Citicorp, introducing Citicards, shifting into retail banking and updating the name to Citigroup. Currently, Citigroup focuses on personal banking, wealth management, investments, securities solutions and treasury and trade solutions.

Fannie Mae 

Company size: 7,400 as of 2021

Headquarters location: Washington D.C.

Website: fanniemae.com

Fannie Mae exists because of the Great Depression. In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt formed Fannie Mae to address the amount of borrowers that were defaulting on mortgages. Regardless of the economy, Fannie Mae ensures liquidity in the mortgage market. As a result, mortgages became more accessible to borrowers and current homeowners were given the option to refinance their mortgages. Fannie Mae does this by purchasing loans issued by the Federal Housing Administration. The institution behind the 30-year mortgage, Fannie Mae currently provides mortgage options to individuals and families looking to purchase a home. 

Freddie Mac

Company size: 6,892 as of 2019

Headquarters location: Tysons Corner, Virginia 

Website: freddiemac.com

Similar to Fannie Mae’s formation, Freddie Mac was chartered by Congress in 1970 to support mortgage-find supply. Operating in what’s known as the ‘secondary mortgage market,’ Freddie Mac buys mortgages from lenders that meet the institution’s standards, which means more loans are available to qualified borrowers. These mortgages are then repackaged as ‘securities,’ which are then sold to investors—keeping home financing affordable and continuous. 

Goldman Sachs

Company size: 43,900 as of 2021

Headquarters location: New York City 

Website: goldmansachs.com

Headquartered in New York City, Goldman Sachs is an international investment banking, securities and investment-management firm with offices in six continents. The institution began in 1869, when Marcus Goldman purchased merchant promissory notes and sold them to New York banks. He teamed up with son Henry Goldman and son-in-law Samuel Sachs and in 1885, Goldman, Sachs & Co. was launched and over the years, grew to be a leading investment firm. Over the years, Goldman Sachs has focused on underwriting for large clients like Ford and recently, began exploring tech. In 2019, Goldman Sachs worked with Apple to launch the Apple Card. That same year, it formed the Sustainable Finance Group, which includes a $750 billion target across nine areas of sustainable development. 

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Company size: 271,025 as of 2021

Headquarters location: New York City

Website: jpmorganchase.com

Like many institutions on this list, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. was established in the 19th century. Established as J.P. Morgan and Company, Inc. in 1895, the institution became the leading U.S. underwriter of corporate debt by 1989. In 2000, J.P. Morgan & Co. merged with The Chase Manhattan Corp., which pulled together four of the largest and oldest New York institutions into one firm. Currently, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. provides commercial banking and financial services—including investments and wealth management—to millions of clients. 

Morgan Stanley 

Company size: 75,000 as of 2021

Headquarters location: New York City

Website: morganstanley.com

Compared to other companies on this list, Morgan Stanley is relatively young. The firm launched in 1935, operating on Wall Street in New York City. Within its first year, Morgan Stanley received a 24 percent market share and handled $1.1 billion in public offerings. In 1952, the firm co-managed the World Bank’s offering to finance European reconstruction and in 1961, it developed the first computer model for financial analysts. Currently, the firm provides wealth management, sales and trading, research, investment banking, capital markets and sustainable investing. 

State Street 

Company size: 38,784 as of 2021 

Headquarters location: Boston, Massachusetts 

Website: statestreet.com

State Street is the second-oldest continually operating bank, second to BNY Mellon. Founded in Boston in 1792, it currently holds $314.62 billion in assets and provides market insights, works with investment companies, manages assets, oversees collateral and more. 

TD Ameritrade 

Company size: 8.939 as of 2020

Headquarters location: Omaha, Nebraska

Website: Tdamericatrade.com

TD Ameritrade was founded in 1971 to provide solutions to finance’s increasing technological offerings, making Wall Street more accessible to the average investor. In 1988, it was the first company to offer touch-tone phone trading and executed the first online trade in 1994. From there, the company grew its online trading capabilities, Originally known as Ameritrade, the company acquired TD Waterhouse in 2006 and became TD Ameritrade. In 2020, TD Ameritrade was acquired by Charles Schwab Corporation and has plans to become fully integrated by 2023. 

Transamerica Corporation 

Company size: 25,000 as of 2018

Headquarters location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa 

Website: transamerica.com

Founded in 1906 by Amedeo P. Giannini, Transamerica Corporation is actually the parent company of Bank of America. (Recognize Giannini’s name from earlier?) During its early years, the company focused on banking, however, Transamerica reorganized in 1958 to separate banking and non-banking services. By this time, Bank of America had separated into its own institution. Currently, Transamerica offers investments, retirement strategies, insurance and money management. 

Deciding if Finance Is a Good Career Fit

Companies in the finance field currently employ eight million people and are actively creating new roles year over year. If the sector hits its estimated eight-percent growth between 2020 and 2030, it will add 750,000 jobs to the economy. 

Now that you have a better understanding of what companies are in the finance field, it’s time to think about your next step. If you enjoy working with numbers, are detail oriented and like structure, the financial sector offers many opportunities for you to thrive. 

With all the jobs available in this field, knowing which opportunities to apply to can be overwhelming. Take a moment to identify what you are looking for in a career and what you’d like to avoid - doing so can help narrow down the best jobs to target. 

Keep track of the opportunities available and their application status with Teal's Job Application Tracker. The tool boosts your efficiency and keeps your search organized. 

Is it hard to break into a large finance company?

Not necessarily. Because these companies are so large, there are plenty of opportunities available that fit your unique experience. Entry-level roles within the industry are accessible, with many opportunities available at the companies mentioned above. 

Do I need a finance degree to work at one of these companies?

While degrees are helpful, they are not necessary for many roles. Entry-level positions in finance often require a high-school diploma or some post-secondary education experience. If you are looking at an entry-level position but do not have a finance degree, highlight skills you have that can translate to the field.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different sectors within the finance field where companies operate?

The finance field encompasses a variety of sectors including banking, investment services, insurance, financial planning, and fintech. Companies within these sectors offer diverse services such as commercial lending, asset management, risk assessment, wealth advisory, and innovative financial technologies. Each sector has its own set of top employers known for their specialized financial services and career opportunities.

How do I determine which finance companies are the best fit for my career goals?

To find the best fit, start by assessing your interests and skills in relation to the finance sectors, such as investment banking, private equity, or insurance. Research companies within those sectors to understand their culture, values, and career paths they offer. Networking with industry professionals, attending career fairs, and seeking internships can provide insights into which companies align with your professional aspirations and offer growth opportunities.

What are some emerging trends in the finance field that companies are adapting to?

Companies in the finance field are increasingly adapting to trends such as digital transformation, with a focus on fintech and mobile banking. They are also emphasizing sustainable and ethical investing, responding to the demand for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria. Additionally, the use of big data analytics and artificial intelligence for improved decision-making and customer service is becoming more prevalent. Keeping an eye on these trends can help you identify forward-thinking employers in the finance industry.

Lindsay Patton

Lindsay Patton is a journalist, adjunct professor, podcast host and digital communicator who specializes in business and career growth.

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