Global M&A Boom to Last for Years, Says Deutsche Dealmaker
The record-shattering boom in global mergers and acquisitions is still in its infancy, according to one of Deutsche Bank AG’s top dealmakers.
“I see current activity as the beginning of a multi-year upward cycle in M&A,” Berthold Fuerst, global co-head of the German bank’s M&A business, said in an interview. “What I see is elevated activity for years to come.”
Global deal values ended the third quarter at $3.8 trillion, Bloomberg data show, meaning the year is now just a few hundred billion dollars shy of surpassing the annual record of $4.1 trillion set in 2007.
Technology transactions have led the way as companies across all sectors adapt their businesses for the digital age. This desire to gain access to disruptive tech through acquisition has spurred activity in the $1 billion to $10 billion range, a trend Fuerst sees continuing.
Fuerst said confidence about pursuing M&A remains high among company boards, despite the prospect of central bank tapering, rising interest rates and knock-on effects from the pandemic, such as shocks to global supply chains.
Another driver is the corporate world’s focus on improving environmental, social and governance standards, including through the shift to greener forms of energy. Deutsche Bank last week named Khaled Fathallah to lead a newly-established energy transition group.
“The ESG complex is feeding into the M&A market,” Fuerst said. “New markets are emerging here. It’s an opportunity for companies to reinvest and reallocate capital into areas that are more ESG compliant.”
The appointment of Fathallah was one of a number of changes to the top of Deutsche Bank’s investment banking division in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Senior dealmakers including Richard Sheppard, Giuseppe Baldelli and Christof Muerb were all handed chairman roles with the aim of drumming up more advisory mandates.
“These are some of our most experienced bankers and we wanted to free them from the day-to-day management and instead task them with pure client coverage work as well as mentorship for some of our junior bankers,” said Henrik Johnsson, Deutsche Bank’s co-head of investment banking in EMEA.
On Monday, Deutsche Bank appointed Derek Shakespeare from rival Barclays Plc as chairman of M&A in EMEA.
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