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Goldman Sachs tops M&A poll

Goldman Sachs has finished top of a poll charting the most in-demand financial advisors for mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

According to a new review by Thomson Reuters, the investment bank worked on almost $190 billion worth of M&A transactions during the first six months of 2010.

Goldman Sachs over took rival Morgan Stanley, which beat the former in rankings produced at this time last year.

The financial services provider, led by chief executive officer Lloyd Blankfein, earned an estimated $940.2 million in fees as part of the M&A deals.

Goldman also advised on the most valuable transactions undertaken during the first six months of the year, the figures showed.

Philip Keevil, a senior partner at Compass Advisers, told Reuters: “A lot of people are surprised by Goldman's resilience, particularly those of us in the boutique world whose marketing is based on the fact we give independent, unbiased advice.

"But what it comes down to is the strength of the brand - no board of directors, no CFO ever gets condemned for hiring Goldman Sachs.”

Earlier in the year a lawsuit was launched against the bank, in which the Securities and Exchange Commission accused Goldman of deliberately misleading investors over investments related to subprime mortgages.

By Jim Ottewill