The US investment banking giant grabbed 8.6 per cent of the dealmaking fee pool globally in the first three quarters of 2023, according to data provider Dealogic, up from 7.8 per cent at the same point last year. Second-placed Goldman Sachs took 7 per cent of investment banking revenue, down from 7.3 per cent in the first nine months of 2022, reports Financial News.
The global investment banking fee pool has dropped 21 per cent so far this year, to $48.7bn following a difficult period for dealmaking in 2022. The $12.3bn earned in Europe, the Middle East and Africa this year is down by 24 per cent.
Goldman Sachs has retained its top spot in the M&A fee league tables, a position it has occupied for two decades, but JPMorgan has closed the gap. Goldman took a 10 per cent market share in the first nine months of 2023, down from 10.6 per cent last year, while JPMorgan's share has jumped from 7.8 per cent to 9.7 per cent over the past year.
Investment banks have battled against an ongoing deal drought that has forced many to make their deepest job cuts in years. Goldman stripped out 3,200 employees in January and a further 125 managing directors in June, while Morgan Stanley and Citigroup have also cut thousands of jobs.
Credit Suisse was acquired by cross-town rival UBS in March, which is also expected to lead to more job losses as the two businesses integrate. UBS's investment banking fees tumbled by 49 per cent during the first nine months of 2023, but the bank's ranking now includes Credit Suisse revenue which has stalled since the takeover.
Goldman's 25 per cent year-on-year decline in dealmaking fees is the steepest of any major Wall Street bank this year. JPMorgan's 13.5 per cent fall is less than the other top five Wall Street investment banks.
A predicted rebound in M&A and equity capital markets activity has been slow to emerge this year, but banking executives are increasingly optimistic entering the fourth quarter.
Jefferies CEO Richard Handler and president Brian Friedman said in a statement accompanying the bank's third-quarter earnings that “green shoots” have “multiplied” in recent weeks.
“There's activity under the surface, the ducks are paddling furiously and we'll just see over the next few months how much they move,” Barclays chief executive, CS Venkatakrishnan, said at an industry conference earlier in September.
In Emea, Citigroup has regained its third position, with fees declining 14.5 per cent over the past year compared with more than 30 per cent falls at both JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs. Citi is in the midst of a fresh overhaul unveiled by chief executive Jane Fraser in September, but in Emea it remains focused on targeting the top dealmaking spot, executives told Financial News.
BNP Paribas is also gunning for a top-five position in the region, having bolstered its equity capital markets and M&A teams in recent years. The French bank ranks fifth currently, up from 8th at the same point last year, with $558.7m in revenue — a decline of 9 per cent compared with 2022.