Morgan Stanley 'heading for top spot in M&A league'

22 December 2009

Goldman Sachs could be about to lose its position as the world's leading M&A advisor, according to a report by Mergermarket.

The study revealed that Morgan Stanley has advised on M&A deals worth $574.3 billion so far this year, compared with the Goldman's $535.8 billion.

JPMorgan remains in third place in the league table, more than $100 billion behind Goldman, despite its role in ExxonMobil's $40.4 billion takeover of XTO Energy.

Goldman is still the leading M&A advisor in the US, ahead of Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan. However, it is a different story in Europe, where Morgan Stanley is the market leader.

Mergermarket also noted that smaller advisory firms have enjoyed a successful 2009, with Evercore Partners, Rothschild and Barclays Capital all involved in some significant deals.

The findings of the report differ from a recent study published by Dealogic, which concluded that Goldman remains on course to retain its position as the world's leading M&A advisor.

Dealogic's figures suggested Goldman has worked on deals worth $616.9 billion during 2009, while Morgan Stanley's M&A deals totalled just $599.6 billion.

By Gary Cooper

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