In a general sense, an underwriter is a person or company that assumes financial risk. In financial markets an underwriter is a financial institution closely involved in the pricing and distribution of a new issue of a security. In exchange for a fee, the underwriter guarantees to the company issuing the securities that it will receive a set price for a set volume of securities. If there is insufficient demand the underwriter may have to sell them at a loss or retain them.

See also: Issue Price