When it comes to leveraged buyouts, Cowen & Co. CEO Kim Fennebresque says “We are not on the edge of a precipice.”
Merrill Lynch’s investment banking president said that M&A activity may be on track to beat the record volume of deals in 2000.
“The year-to-date volume looks like it’s on track to surpass the peak of 2000,” said Gregory Fleming at the Reuters Investment Banking Summit in New York.
M&A legal guru Martin Lipton said that 30 years ago companies were unlikely to undertake strategic changes in the face of shareholder activism or takeover threats.
Greenhill has a novel approach to compensation. All of its managing directors know the size of all the other managing directors’ bonuses. They actually hand out a memo.
Gregory Fleming, a top investment banking executive at Merrill Lynch, can’t bring himself to say the name of the M&A world’s top dog: Goldman Sachs. And Fleming wouldn’t say if it’s Merrill’s goal one day to be No. 1. But he did say his company wants to be in the top three or five in any investment banking category in which Merrill competes.
Greg Fleming, co-head of investment banking for Merrill Lynch, told the Reuters Investment Banking Summit that he forsees a larger role for cash-rich hedge funds in mergers and acquisitions, particularly in buyouts led by private equity funds. Fleming said hedge funds are “hugely important” in helping to finance such deals, since they increasingly making a market for deal bonds and bank debt.
That’s music to the ears of top executives who arrange the deals, many of which will be attending Reuters Corporate Finance summit starting on Monday, where panels of journalists in New York and London will quiz CEOs, department heads and lawyers on where the M&A boom will take the market — and the banks’ bottom lines — next.
Guests at the four-day summit will include Greenhill CEO Bob Greenhill, Blackstone President Tony James, and Citigroup head of European investment banking Tom King. It kicks off on Nov. 13. Stay tuned.