Capital markets make up for M&A

June 26, 2009

Its half-year review time in investment banking, when London’s top firms gather up their heavyweights and engage with the press.

Each year a different business line takes the spotlight. In the pre-crisis boom times of 2007, M&A bankers held centre stage. Everybody wanted to talk to them. They were the most popular kids in school.

This year it was the turn of capital markets bankers to shine.

As my colleagues Douwe Miedema and Jessica Hall wrote earlier, mammoth bond sales and massive rights issues kept investment banking revenue rolling in in the second quarter.

Take a look at my own story for the contrasting performance of the M&A market – quarterly M&A fees hit an eleven-year low.

But at least the green shoots of economic recovery are a source of hope.  Unless you believe we are in for a W shaped recession, and then they are poison weeds.

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