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Top Rainmakers Win Big Rewards in a Challenging 2012

M&A didn’t make the 2012 comeback that some had expected. But the bankers featured in II’s Rainmakers of the Year still had plenty to celebrate.

Deals of the Year Six Other Notable Transactions of 2012

Blame it on Europe's endless recession, the U.S.'s shaky condition and Asia's lack of ignition: After the previous year's modest rise, 2012 didn't bring a hoped-for resurgence in mergers and acquisitions. Year-to-date through November 30, global M&A deal volume stood just shy of $2.4 trillion, according to Dealogic, a 14 percent drop from 2011. When it came to fees, M&A bankers had even less reason to cheer, as revenue plunged 21 percent, to $16.08 billion. Given those numbers, no wonder Citigroup just cut 150 jobs from its trading and investment banking unit as part of a plan to shed 11,000 staff.

For other deal makers, results were mixed. Global equity issuance totaled $582.8 billion, down 7.5 percent from 2011, while revenue fell some 24 percent, to $12.03 billion, its lowest ebb since 2003. Fixed income had a stronger year, suggesting that everyone is locking in cheap money: Total debt offerings climbed 3 percent, to $6.01 trillion. Investment-grade corporate bonds hit an all-time high with deal value of about $1.6 trillion, a 36 percent gain.

Despite these trying conditions, the bankers celebrated in Institutional Investor's 2012 Rainmakers of the Year fetched handsome fees while making big things happen for their clients. This year's top ten list focuses on the largest pending and closed transactions of 2012 by total advisory fees, as estimated by investment consulting firm Freeman Consulting. The banks involved stand to earn some $850 million all told, a healthy increase over 2011's haul of $800 million.

Cross-border tie-ups loomed larger than ever, accounting for six of the ten deals. Asia asserted itself with two major prizes: the $20.1 billion purchase of U.S. cellular carrier Sprint Nextel Corp. by Japan's SoftBank Corp. (No. 2) and Chinese state-owned Cnooc Canada Holding's $17.7 billion acquisition of Canadian oil producer Nexen (No. 4). The buyer in the No. 1 transaction with its $45.8 billion takeover of miner Xstrata, Swiss commodities trader Glencore International also picked up Canuck grain handler and processor Viterra (No. 9). Uncertainty rules, but megadeals and global mergers are alive and well.

  Deals of the Year Click on the Rainmakers below for more information on the deals.
RankRainmakerAcquirerSellerClosing DateDeal
($ Millions)
($ Millions)
1Michel Antakly & Team
Morgan Stanley

Tom Reid & Team
Xstrata pending$45,803$114
2Jeffrey Sine & Team
Raine Group
SoftBank Corp.Sprint Nextel Corp.pending20,061111
3Richard Girling & Team
Centerview Partners
Walgreen Co.Alliance BootsAug 221,362107
4Peter Tague & Team
Cnooc Canada HoldingNexenpending17,666107
5Scott Lindsay,
Charles Newton & Team

Credit Suisse
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.Amylin PharmaceuticalsAug 96,86284.7
6Michael Boublik & Team
Morgan Stanley

Alan Hartman & Team
Centerview Partners
NestléPfizer NutritionNov 3011,85082
7Richard Campbell-Breeden & Team
Goldman Sachs Group

Hong Ping Yeo & Team
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
OUE Baytown

TCC Assets*
Fraser & Neavepending12,491


8David Kostel,
Michael Muntner & Team

Credit Suisse
WellPointAmerigroup Corp.pending4,85260
9Philip Evershed & Team
Canaccord Genuity
ViterraDec 77,36258
10Richard Jacobsen Jr. & Team
Greenhill & Co.
AetnaCoventry Health Carepending5,69556
*Competing bidsSource: Thomson Reuters/Freeman Consulting.

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