In 2010, JPMorgan booked $4.14 billion in investment banking fee revenue, more than any other bank.
Coming in second place, behind JPMorgan, was Morgan Stanley, which earned $3.67 billion. Goldman Sachs slipped a spot to third, with $3.60 billion in total fees.
Across Wall Street, investment banking fees rose 6 percent last year to $49.1 billion (still far short of the $86.9 billion banks booked in pre-financial crisis 2007) largely due to the surge in government-backed deals (a.k.a. governments ditching their holdings in banks that they bailed out the previous two years).
Specifically, M&A had a good year, as deal volume increased 27 percent to $2.2 trillion and fees rose 23 percent to $17.9 billion. Bond deals and IPOs, meanwhile, fell considerably, both in volume and fees versus 2009.
Big deals in 2010 came from a variety of sources. According to Jes Staley, JPMorgan's investment banking CEO and front-runner to takeover the reins if and when Jamie Dimon ever decides to pack it in, "Three of the five largest markets last year in terms of IPOs were Honk Kong at $57 billion, Shenzhen at $47 billion and Shanghai at $27 billion."
There were also several big deals right here. According to Bloomberg, "Outside Asia, the U.S. Treasury was one of the most important customers for Wall Street last year, selling stock it acquired during the 2008 to 2009 financial meltdown in a long list of companies" such as AIG, Ally Financial (the former GMAC), Citigroup, and General Motors -- whose IPO was a boon for sole underwriter Morgan Stanley.
According to Paul Taubman, co-president of institutional securities at Morgan Stanley, "The General Motors deal was important for the economy; it was important for the markets. It was a defining moment last year in many respects. It was increased in size; it was increased in price; it traded well in the aftermarket."
It also helped boost Morgan Stanley's earnings and helped propel it over its main rival.
"Profits from continuing operations in [Morgan Stanley's institutional securities] unit, including trading, more than doubled to $3.75 billion last year from $1.39 billion in 2009." And "the firm generated higher investment banking revenue in the fourth quarter than Goldman Sachs."