I'm reading "Too Big To Fail" about the 2007 financial crisis, and there's a lot of discussion about the big investment banks: JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, etc.
I've understood the strict definition of "investment bank" to mean a financial institution that finances companies through the management of IPOs.
However, from the sounds of it, the big "investment banks" are just...generalized investment companies? They might do some IPO work, but they seem to spend a lot of time and make a lot of money doing their own trades in stocks, bonds, real estate, currencies, etc.
The more general definition is something like: a company that makes money from varied financial transactions? It seems that actual IPOs are just one part of a much broader set of financial practices.