When it comes to the lucrative business of advising corporations on buying rivals or selling themselves, it pays to be the leader.
Bloomberg News reports that so it’s not surprising, perhaps, that three of Wall Street’s biggest banks all claimed to be the best dealmaker in the first quarter. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley each touted their No. 1 position this week atop their earnings statements. JPMorgan made the point last week in a slide titled “select leadership positions.”
“They’re all vying for bragging rights,” said Charles Peabody, an analyst at Portales Partners. “It’s important in their marketing, when they’re trying to convince a CEO to do a deal, to show the credibility of your deal history.”
Investment banks have long sliced and diced merger league tables to cast themselves in the most favorable light and show they’re the best choice for upcoming transactions. The incentive has rarely been stronger than this year, when earnings from advising on takeovers has held up relatively well amid a slump in trading and underwriting stocks and bonds.
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