Pipeline - old bridges in Toledo, Spain

Pipeline is a term for securities that have entered into, but noftyet completed, the under writing process before public distribution. As such, it is a measure of the flow in upcoming underwriting deals for investment banks, and market observers often look to the current pipeline as an indicator of financing activity.

The securities being underwritten are commonly referred to as being “in the pipeline”. Underwriters will attempt to keep several securities in the pipeline in order to sell them to investors when market conditions are favorable.

Since the underwriting process for all publicly sold securities includes a mandatory review by and registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the flow of upcoming deals is alternatively referred to as the “SEC pipeline” by some in the investment industry.

To avoid possible confusion, it should also be noted that the term “pipeline” has other distinct and quite different meanings that are well-established in the investment industry, most notably in conjunction with the mortgage industry and the concept of “pipeline risk.”