2020 US M&A League Tables
Hope you're all well. I saw some misinformation spread in another thread and wanted to clear the air regarding U.S. league tables, as FactSet has finally released the 2020 Flashwire report.
Each data provider has its own criteria as to which deals are included and each bank uses whichever puts them nearest to the top. In an effort to bring about some more transparency, below are the primary sources for league tables.
1) FactSet: generally the data provider bankers are most familiar with (at least according to a small but diverse sample of my friends at top banks). Each month they publish the Flashwire US report, and it's what most bankers reference. I definitely trust these numbers the most, though no data provider is perfect and there will definitely be discrepancies in deal values as you go below the top 15 or so banks.
Here's a link to it: US-Flashwire-Monthly.pdf (factset.com)
2) Bloomberg: as a student, I thought this was what bankers used. Turns out no one really uses it (and for good reason, it's easily the ugliest platform I've ever looked at). To my knowledge Bloomberg doesn't publish a similar report to FactSet but if I'm wrong please correct me. I've posted the results I got using the <MA> command and filtering for M&A deals announced in 2020 pending or completed in the U.S. Output is below. You'll notice the order of the list is different, as well as the deal values.
--- these are pretty much the only two data providers I trust and, as you can see, they say different things. Below are a few more that I don't personally use but that are quick and easy to access. ---
3) Refinitiv: formerly the Financial & Risk business of Thomson Reuters. Can't seem to locate the deal list so would take this with a grain of salt.
They let you sort by fees too which is kind of cool but not particularly helpful.
4) Dealogic: my group has had problems with Dealogic in the past so I don't trust them. You can see they exclude theMarkit deal (which was the biggest deal announced and one that a ton of banks were on) as well as the Arm deal (second biggest). This artificially deflates , , , MS, , CS, , and on IHS-S&P and GS and MS on Arm-NVIDIA. Adjusting for those looks like top 5 should match FactSet and Bloomberg.
Here's a link to it: Investment Banking Scorecard - WSJ.com
Looking at all of the league tables and based on what I saw in the market, top 5 for 2020 is as follows: