According to a report by Thomson Reuters and Freeman Consulting Services (via the NYT), merger and acquisition activity is expected to rise by more than 12 percent this year and continue its climb next year, nearing but not equaling 2007 levels.
The report also said that "two sectors would shine in 2011 for deals: real estate and financial firms." The reason for that is "many companies from these industries will need to restructure their businesses, pursue consolidation, divest assets or simply play catch-up." Which means FIG (financial institution group) bankers will be reaping the benefit$ at the close of this year and the next.
So far this year, the M&A bankers of Goldman Sachs own bragging rights over their fellow MDs, VPs, associates and analysts at competitor firms. According to Thomson Reuters, through the third quarter 2010, Goldman had worked on a total of $399 billion in M&A deals, out-advising second-place Morgan Stanley ($355 billion) and third-place J.P. Morgan ($353 billion). Morgan Stanley did, however, work on a greater number of transactions, advising on 287 deals to Goldman's 263 and J.P. Morgan's 223.