BNP Paribas is a French bank and financial services company with global headquarters in Paris. It was formed through the merger of Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) and Paribas (see below for name origin) in 2000. BNP Paribas is one of the largest banks in the world. Based on 2012 information BNP Paribas was ranked as the third-largest bank in the world, as measured by total assets, by Bloomberg and Forbes.
The firm is a universal bank split into three strategic business units: Retail Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking and Investment Solutions (which includes Asset Management, custodial banking, and real estate services). BNP Paribas's four domestic markets are France, Italy, Belgium, and Luxembourg. It also has significant retail operations in the United States, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine, and North Africa, as well as large-scale investment banking operations in New York, London, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
The firm is divided into 6 key business areas:
- Fixed Income: BNP Paribas' fixed income team helps companies hedge their exposure to foreign exchange, interest rate, and credit risks, primarily though the structuring and sale of derivative products such as interest rate and foreign exchange swaps, foreign exchange options and credit derivatives. It also trades in these markets on behalf of clients or for its own proprietary account. On an average day, a quarter of a trillion dollars in fixed income instruments are traded at BNP Paribas Americas’ fixed income trading floor located just blocks from the NASDAQ MarketSite in Manhattan, New York City.
- Equity & Derivatives: BNP Paribas' Equity & Derivatives team helps companies manage their risks and investment portfolios with equity derivatives such as options, futures, and swaps, as well as highly complex, customized solutions such as structured products. It also trades in these markets on behalf of clients or for its own proprietary account.
- Commodity Derivatives: BNP Paribas' Commodity Derivatives team helps clients hedge their exposure to commodity risk though the structuring and sale of commodity futures and OTC commodity swaps. It also trades in these markets on behalf of its clients or proprietary account.
Investment Banking: BNP Paribas' Corporate Finance team performs most of the traditional investment banking functions of the group including mergers and acquisitions advisory, and equity raising operations such as Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), rights issues, and convertible bond issues.
- Structured Finance: BNP Paribas' Structured Finance group offers clients project finance solutions, export financing, syndicated loans, and financing for acquisitions and leveraged buyouts.
- Corporate & Transaction Group: BNP Paribas' Corporate and Transaction group offers clients simplified flow banking services including trade finance, international cash management, and basic hedging solutions.