Institutional clients are defined both in terms of size and nature. In general, they tend to be large corporations in any line of business. They also normally include other financial services firms of any size. There is a large amount of interfirm dealing in the financial services industry, even among large, integrated, diversified firms.
Extraordinarily wealthy individuals (for example, those with over $100 million in assets) may be served through institutional sales channels. This is particularly true if they have their own financial advisors apart from the firm in question, and instead use that firm strictly to execute trades and to obtain investment products.
Also, certain lines of business within the financial services industry are typically defined as institutional in nature. Investment banking is one example, based on the nature of the clients. Securities trading is another example; although this function serves both retail and institutional clients, the preponderance of the trading volume tends to be on behalf of institutions. Also, the trading function has certain affinities with the investment banking function, which creates securities that subsequently will be traded.