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Deutsche's M&A team battling for success after bumpy 2009

"Deutsche upturns the M&A order" ran the headline in the Asia news section of Euromoney’s August issue last year, as the bank beat out more established competitors to rank second on the Dealogic ­table for announced deals in the first half of 2009. New head of M&A Gordon Paterson, poached from Citi where he held the same role, had built up his small team with a series of good hires from competitors and the bank was seeing success by winning mandates on a few large deals. Key among those was the merger between South African telecoms provider MTN and India’s Bharti Airtel, in a deal that would have been worth more than $20 billion. The cancellation of that deal left a big hole in Deutsche Bank’s year-end M&A volume total for Asia, with the result that the bank finished a creditable but unexciting seventh on Dealogic’s 2009 table.

Such are the vagaries of Asia’s M&A league tables, where a single large deal can dominate the volume charts and its cancellation can ruin a bank’s year-end totals at a stroke. This year is so far looking as challenging as 2009 turned out to be for Deutsche’s plans to become a top-three investment bank on the numbers: the bank was 11th on the Asia-Pacific ex Japan announced M&A rankings as of July 20, with 29 deals worth just shy of $20 billion.

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