The bulge bracket term refers to the group of the largest investment banks in the world. Unlike smaller banks, they are involved in all aspects of the business, meaning that they offer services in all areas of the business, covering all products, and all industries. Bulge bracket firms usually deal with the biggest and most profitable deals on the street, and they don’t bother dealing with smaller transactions.
Many deals involve multiple banks working on it, but there is ranking of involvement and accountability in the deal. Bulge bracket banks are almost always ranked on the top. That is seen on the cover page of the prospectus, where their names are listed first. Being the bulge bracket bank implies prestige. However, since there’s no clear measurement of prestige, there are no precise criteria about what banks are included in this group. People usually refer to Thomson Reuters or Bloomberg for reference, but there might be variance in what banks are considered bulge bracket at certain times. The list of the current bulge bracket banks is following: