Frankfurt M&A Market

I am considering BB/EB options for Frankfurt M&A and was curios if experienced industry veterans could give some insights into which places are generally regarded well performing or struggling recently, since deal and culture transparancy is quite limited especially for EBs.

Any help is appreciated!


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Comments (18)

Most Helpful
Apr 16, 2019 - 8:12am
  • GS is number one. (pretty tough but still alright culture)
  • DB used to be 1/2, not really any more and is starting to fall behind the other Americans
  • JPM/MS are of course strong but fluctuate a lot more in league tables compared to total EMEA/US (MS has a horrible culture and brutal hours, JPM a bit weird but pretty chill)
  • BAML is very good (usually 1-3 in league tables), hours are not too bad compared to others, a bit more of a "party" reputation

  • Citi is also strong with a similar M&A push as in other regions but one of the worst cultures in FFM

  • CS is all right, not on the US BB level though
  • Barclays is pretty underwhelming and UBS is really lacking deal flow given the CH presence (apparently lots of new hires though)

Regarding EBs
- Evercore, Moelis, Greenhill are shit, no other way to phrase it; PWP is much stronger in Germany despite not even having an office in FFM
- RS is probably a bit better than Lazard but both are well respected, culture at both is horrible though -> brutal hours and Lazard guys are known for doing coke

  • 6
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jan 26, 2021 - 12:45pm

Know some of the BofA guys and they were good fun and loved to have a drink. Probably the most relaxed guys from a European office I have met so far.

Jan 26, 2021 - 4:34am

can't agree with GHDFS.MA and seems he/she is not within the German market currently but just heard some older shits from WiWi Treff...

Both JPM and GS are definitely on the no.1 tier and both of them are competing for the largest-sized deals. 

UBS is not as weak as Barclays. The Swiss bank indeed does not have strong dealflow, but each year they could work on several top deals. Think of Siemens Healthineers, TK Elevator and OSRAM / ams.

Greenhill is truly almost dead, Moelis is dead but Evercore is growing and the FFM office has won many >1bn euro mandates in the last two years, though with a large % in automotive and real estate.

PWP has planned to open an office in Munich since 2019, but just realised it in 2020. They usually on the advisory side of notable deals like the 68bn E.ON - RWE merger but with limited numbers - cant guarantee that they have at least 5 deals in Germany per year. Maybe only 2-3 deals in Germany per year.

Jan 26, 2021 - 4:34pm

As a Frankfurt banker, I can confirm that GS and JP are clearly number 1. In recent years, CS/BofA and Rothschild have also been very strong in the German market.

UBS, Lazard and Deutsche are pretty solid, whereas Citi, MS and Barclays have been struggling in recent years. The remaining EBs hardly play a role.

Among the mid-market boutiques, W. Blair, Baird, GCA and Alantra are the strongest and Berenberg Bank is pretty active in the ECM market.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jan 28, 2021 - 7:08am

Would listen to 18thhandso. He is very right about all things mentioned.

GS/JPM are definitely the OG shops in FFM. Can't go wrong, good exits etc. etc. JPM has a nice culture "IF" you fit into the lot. GS has a good culture among juniors but some mid-levels are :) :) :)

MS is good but the horrible culture is incredibly lacklustre IMO. The story about this analyst class "quitting" and that MD is still kinda legendary. I know people who had offers there but chose BBs just a notch for fit reasons.

Citi is doing well IMO and had some great exits over the last years (EQT, Triton).

BAML doing very well too! Heard good things about the culture. They have some chill associates IMO.

Deutsche is still strong due to his homebase and relationships. Don't get fooled by some dumb Audit prospects on their weird US finmeme accounts. The culture seems quite nice too and they used to send interns home at 10pm but you had to show up super early if there is something hot on the desk.

UBS does very well due to having good relationships from private banking (Knorr Bremse, etc.) and as mentioned have the capability of landing big deals as well. They do a good amount of IPOs.

CS/Barc are definitely the weakest. CS culture is insaaaaaaaaanely bad (the convo between associate and analyst recently IYKYK :) ). Barc has a nice culture!

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Jan 28, 2021 - 7:29am

How can you say that CS is among the weakest? They have been doing incredibly well recently as they were on almost all large German deals (#4 in German league tables 2020 ahead of UBS/BAML/DB/MS/Citi). The culture is definitely bad there's no doubt about it, but they are still pretty strong atm. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Jan 28, 2021 - 7:38am

That's one year and the exits are just not on par with the rest. I think most people here are motivated by exits and maybe culture.

It's only my view, but for example, UBS has a much better culture and they were on some great deals. Had some great exits as well to Triton etc.

I know no one who is not taking, for example, Citi or BAML rather than CS. Do you?

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