Author: Alessandro Magno, Denise Bedell, Tina Aridas, Valentina Pasquali

Financial advisers are often key players in merger and acquisition deals, and, working alongside interested companies, they reap great profits from them. According to Thompson Reuters, in 2012 Goldman Sachs dominated this sector, coming in as the top investment bank in terms of the number and value of completed deals and fees imputed.

Worldwide Completed M&A by Financial Advisor, Jan-Dec 2012
Data is from Thomson Reuters Mergers and Acquisitions Review 2012.

Worldwide Completed M&A by Financial Advisor, Jan-Dec 2012
Data is from Thomson Reuters Mergers and Acquisitions Review 2012.

Click on the column heading to sort the table.

In 2012, worldwide mergers and acquisitions activity totaled US$2.6 trillion, growing only 2% over the previous year. An unprecedented level of spinoffs and divestitures, totaling US$1.2 trillion and comprising 47% of the total, drove this growth.

Advisory fees for completed M&A, however, decreased 13% in 2012 over 2011, at least according to Thompson Reuters estimates. Total 2012 fees came to approximately US$24.7 billion. Deals in the Americas generated the most fees (58% of total). Together, Europe, the Middle East and Africa comprised 28% of the global fee pool. Finally, the Asia Pacific region and Japan contributed respectively 10% and 5%.

Goldman Sachs advised 352 deals for a value of over US$570 billion, raking in fees for US$1.7 billion. JPMorgan's transactions numbered 247 and totaled US$406 billion, bringing to the firm US$1.2 billion in fees. Third was Morgan Stanley, which had topped the ranking in 2011, with 320 deals worth nearly US$380 billion and US$1.2 billion of fees. The top non-American financial adviser for 2011 was Switzerland's Credit Suisse, who advised 231 deals valued at US$354 billion and ensuring the bank US$1.1 billion in fees. Like in 2011 Nomura remained the highest-ranking Asian advisory firm, coming in thirteenth place, with 193 deals for US$104 billion and US$305 million in imputed fees.

PwC's Martyn Currah and Tim Hartnett discuss the 2013 outlook for M&A in the US.