Who is 'Book Runner'

The book runner is the primary underwriter or lead coordinator in the issuance of new equity, debt, or securities instruments.  In investment banking, the book runner is the underwriting firm that runs or is in charge of the books. A large, leveraged buyout could involve multiple businesses; the book runner, representing one of the participating companies, coordinates with the other participating firms. Typically, one company takes the responsibility of running or managing the books, though more than one book runner (joint book runner) can control a security issuance.


In investment banking, a syndicate is a group of underwriters who are responsible for placing a new equity, debt, or security issue with investors. To reduce risk, the book runner syndicates with other underwriting firms for the issuance of the new equity, debt or security.

Lead-Left Book Runner

The lead-left book runner, also called managing underwriter or syndicate manager, is listed first among the other underwriters participating in the issuance. The lead-left book runner plays the most important role in the transaction and will typically assign parts of the new issue to other underwriting firms for placement while retaining the most significant portion for themselves.

The lead-left book runner's name is the first bank to be listed on the prospectus, in the upper left-hand corner.

Book Runner Responsibilities

In the securities industry, an underwriter is a representative of a particular business entity, most often an investment bank, who works with corporations regarding the creation and issuing of public offerings. Underwriters work to guarantee that all documentation and reporting requirements are met, as well as work with potential investors to market the upcoming offering and gauge public interest. An underwriting institution may offer guarantees regarding the amount of stock that will be purchased and assume responsibility to buy securities to meet the minimum guarantee.

A book runner performs the same duties as an underwriter while also coordinating the efforts of multiple involved parties and information sources. In this regard, the book runner functions as a central point for all information regarding the potential offering or issue. This pivotal position may allow the book runner and his associated firm to know new information before it is widely known.

Book Creation for IPOs

One responsibility of the book runner is to create a book containing a working list, which is useful in tracking information about parties interested in participating in the new offering or issue. This information is used to help determine an opening price for an initial public offering (IPO) as well as to gain insight into the level of interest expressed by potential investors.

  1. Underwriting Fees

    Underwriting fees are monies collected by underwriters for underwriting ...
  2. Lead Underwriter

    A lead underwriter is usually an investment bank that organizes ...
  3. Pot

    Pot is the portion of a stock or bond issue that investment bankers ...
  4. Bought Deal

    A bought deal is a securities offering in which an investment ...
  5. Breaking The Syndicate

    Breaking the syndicate refers to the dissolution of a group of ...
  6. Eating Stock

    Eating stock refers to the forced purchase of a security when ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Book Value: How Reliable Is It For Investors?

    In theory, a low P/B ratio means you have a cushion against poor performance. In practice, it is much less certain.
  2. Insurance

    What is Underwriting?

    Underwriting is a term most often used in investment banking, insurance and commercial banking. Generally, underwriting means receiving a remuneration for the willingness to pay for or incur ...
  3. Investing

    The Road To Creating An IPO

    Through an Initial Public Offering, or IPO, a company raises capital by issuing shares of stock, or equity in a public market. Generally, this refers to when a company issues stock for the first ...
  4. Personal Finance

    Just the Right Book Review: Is It Worth It?

    Take an in-depth look at Just the Right Book, a subscription service that delivers personalized book selections based on your reading history and preferences.
  5. Investing

    Book Value Per Share for Banks: Is It a Good Measure? (WFC, BAC)

    Find out why bank stocks usually trade below book value and understand how trading activities increase banks' risk exposures and affect valuation.
  6. Investing

    Investing for Future Security: Chicago

    American Century Investments and Investopedia spoke with one Chicago Marathon finisher about completing his financial goals.
  7. Investing

    What's the role of an investment bank?

    Investment banks provide financial advice to businesses and governments and help them raise capital through the sale of stocks, bonds and other products.
  1. Do Underwriters Make Guarantees to Sell an Entire IPO Issue?

    Underwriters do not necessarily make guarantees concerning selling an initial public offering (IPO). Read Answer >>
  2. How do I become an underwriter?

    Learn about the education, training and certification required to become an insurance underwriter and the important qualities ... Read Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between book value and carrying value

    Dig deeper into the definitions of carrying value and book value, and learn to differentiate between their various financial ... Read Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between an IPO and a seasoned issue?

    Learn how companies issue IPO securities when they first go public and seasoned issue shares if they sell more stock in the ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center