New face at the head of the league table

Contact: Brenon Daly

Fittingly for a year that saw an unprecedented amount of upheaval on Wall Street, Barclays came from nowhere in 2008 to take the top spot on the 451 Group’s annual league table. And when we say it came from nowhere, we mean that literally: The British bank didn’t have a hand in a single IT deal involving a US-based company in 2007. It owes its dramatic rise to its purchase of Lehman Brothers, a bank that figured at the sharp end of the ranking for each of the past three years.

The unexpected ascent of Barclays snapped a three-year run by Goldman Sachs as busiest tech adviser, with Goldman slipping back to second place. JP Morgan Chase, boosted by its acquisition of Bear Stearns in May, rebounded to third. It was a notable comeback for JP Morgan, which had plummeted to 11th place in 2007. Furthermore, JP Morgan was one of the only major banks to actually increase both the number of deals it worked and the value of those deals, year over year.

However, we would quickly add that these banks were the best in a very bad year. Consider the fact that Barclays, which headed our 2008 ranking with $30.6bn worth of advised deals, would have barely squeaked into 10th place on our 2007 ranking. Meanwhile, Goldman’s total amount of advised deals last year ($26.8bn) was just one-third the previous year’s tally ($78bn) at the bank. (Note: We will be sending out an executive summary of the league table in the daily 451 Group email on Tuesday, with the full report available later this month.)

Overall 2008 league table standings

Rank Bank 2007 standing
1 Barclays N/A
2 Goldman Sachs 1
3 JP Morgan Chase 11
4 Citigroup 4
5 Evercore Partners 8

Source: The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase