World’s Best Investment Banks 2021: Equity

World’s Best Investment Banks 2021: Equity

Deal activity remains lively as this year’s Best Equity Banks lean on tech to keep capital flowing. There is no shortage of financing and deal-making in equity capital markets moving into 2021. In fact, four out of the top five equity capital market sectors—technology, health care, finance and telecommunications—beat their 2019 numbers last year, according to Dealogic. Flows and projections going forward are strong; and in a year that witnessed change at its most disruptive, global investment banks, while feeling the pain of the Covid-19 pandemic, adapted well.

Global Finance’s 2021 Best Equity Investment Banks showcase accommodations that carried the sector through an unprecedented year and into 2021.

J.P. Morgan takes the top prize as the best investment bank for equities globally. Vis Raghavan, JPM’s CEO for EMEA, noted in an interview in late September that the world was “awash in liquidity” despite pandemic needs, largely due to the long stretch of quantitative easing and stimulus. Going forward, he said “The key driver is going to be equitization. All those companies that have secured liquidity, they’re looking at the markets and thinking ‘should I grab equity when I can?’”

Goldman Sachs took the award as Best Equity Bank for North America. The investment bank powerhouse maintained its leading position in equities trading and underwriting throughout 2020 despite COVID-19’s impact on the global economy and ended on a solid second half.

Goldman Sachs began the year planning to cut $1.3 billion annually from operating costs for the next three years to improve its return-on-equity. The bank maintained its top position on Dealogic’s league table for initial public offering revenue earning for 2020 by generating $931 million via 84 deals that raised an aggregate of $13.87 billion. Among the IPOs that the bank underwrote, 31 were for special acquisition companies (SPACs), also known as “blank check companies,” designed to bring private companies public without resorting to a typical IPO.

The global winner in Frontier Markets, EFG Hermes, was also Africa’s standout equity player in 2020. Ali Khalpey, CEO of EFG Hermes Frontier, expects positive global macroeconomic recovery and commodity price improvement to continue to improve the environment for deals across Africa. “We continue to see strong interest from cross-border M&A [mergers and acquisitions] as well as ECM [equity capital market] activity picking up as markets continue their positive momentum,” he predicts.

According to EFG’s third-quarter report for 2020—the latest available—the investment banking division succeessfully concluded six transactions […]

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