The next 12 months may not prove as rich for initial public offerings as the last year. But to Wall Street bankers, 2014 still promises an abundance of opportunity.
And that could include what may be one of the biggest market debuts in years: that of Alibaba, the Chinese Internet behemoth.
(Read more: Here's what the 2014 tech IPO pipeline looks like)
Even as global merger activity turned in another lackluster performance, the business of taking companies public soared. The amount raised by IPO's in the United States last year jumped 40 percent over 2012, to $59.3 billion, according to data from Thomson Reuters.
Overall activity in equity capital markets banking totaled nearly $797 billion for the year, up 27 percent and one of the best years in recent memory. Fees for bankers in the field rose 34 percent from the previous year, to $17.9 billion, in what Thomson Reuters described as the highest level in three years.