Life may have been pretty awful for equity and debt market bankers in the first half of the year, but M&A bankers have — so far — had it pretty easy. While ECM revenue was down 85% in North America year-over-year in the first six months, for example, M&A revenue was down just 12% in America. of the North and only 5% in the world according to Dealogic.

This helps explain why M&A-focused recruiters, especially those hiring junior staff, have consistently told us how busy they’ve been in the first six months: 2021 has been a banner year. for mergers and acquisitions; 2022 was only slightly behind that peak.

That could change. Tech deals in particular were down significantly in the first half according to Dealogic, which is likely why Credit Suisse dumped a TMT banker in its recent cuts. While there are still junior and senior hires across all sectors, headhunters predict director-level staff will, as usual, be most at risk if and when cuts later in the year ‘year. Administrators cost more than everyone else and do not bring contracts themselves.

Source: Dealogic

However, some teams seem safer than others. As the Dealogic chart above shows, Hobby & Recreation, Utilities & Energy, Real Estate & Property deals are booming this year compared to last year.

The real estate M&A teams of the big banks are doing particularly well. At Bank of America, Dealogic says the real estate team worked on deals worth 377% more this year than in the first half of last year. At Goldman and JPMorgan, real estate transactions increased by 98% and 69% respectively. At Citi, real estate transactions increased by 211%.

As deal pipelines begin to look more precarious, there are signs that banks are stepping up their efforts to recruit senior bankers. In recent weeks, new MDs have arrived at banks on both sides of the Atlantic: RBC has hired Kimberly Daly of Deutsche Bank for its financial sponsors team in New York and Giuseppe Chiusa for its corporate services team in Europe; BMO has hired Alex Choi of UBS for its industrial products group. Credit Suisse has rebuilt its team. Citi hired a new vice president from Deutsche Bank, for example.

Some of the safest bankers of any future cuts will therefore likely be the MDs added by banks in June of this year. The staff in place will only have to hope that their guaranteed bonuses will not precipitate cuts elsewhere.

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