Alexander Smith

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Is Jefferies right to be bullish on M&A in AM?

July 7, 2009

A bull(ish) note from growing investment banking group Jefferies Putnam Lovell predicting “a steady flow of M&A activity in the global asset management industry” for the second half of 2009.

Jefferies is basing its view on the following factors:

  • divestitures by larger financial groups shoring up their capital base 
  • pure-play asset managers looking to bulk up
  • private equity firms drawn not least by lower capital requirements

And the firm is putting its money where its mouth is. It has recently been hiring scores of senior bankers from rival firms as it seeks to build itself a major presence.

This hasn’t been without its problems. UBS filed a claim against Jefferies after the mid-sized investment bank lured away nearly three dozen of the Swiss bank’s healthcare bankers.

Jefferies is pinning part of its confidence on a wider “relief that economies, while unsteady, are coming out of the crisis toward recovery”.

Perhaps its prediction of a radical reshaping of the asset management industry reflects some of its own hopes for a redrawing of the investment banking landscape.

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  • About Alexander

    "I am a Reuters columnist specialising in financial services -- particularly investment banking, M&A and corporate finance. I am based in London, but have lived and worked in Spain and South America. I have been a journalist and editor for almost 19 years and before moving into commentary at the beginning of 2009 I was the editor responsible for Reuters coverage of company news in Europe, Middle East and Africa."
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