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Poll of polls 1995: On top of the world

Which were the world's most successful investment banks last year? Euromoney's unique poll of polls has the answers. The winners: Merrill and SBC Warburg.And a wooden spoon for Goldman Sachs, which slips from first to fourth. By Charles Piggott.

Euromoney's poll of polls proves it: 1995 was the year of the universal bank. The winners in this year's poll - based on a compilation of 70 Euromoney polls and league tables produced during 1995 - werethe banks which merged during the year. The repackaged Merrill Lynch and Smith New Court, Swiss Bank and SG Warburg, and Dresdner Bank and Kleinwort Benson all feature prominently in the ranking.

Merrill Lynch ranks top in the poll after its acquisition of UK brokeragehouse Smith New Court. Merrill has finally made it to the top after two years in second place behind Goldman Sachs. Smith New Court's main contribution to Merrill Lynch's overall score was in equity and economic research, and equity trading.

SBC Warburg comes a close second, following the acquisition by Swiss BankCorporation of SG Warburg. While both SG Warburg and SBC are strong in underwriting (last year SG Warburg ranked seventh in underwriting and SBC eighth) they are less evenly balanced in trading and advisory work. Last year SG Warburg failed to rank in the trading category, while SBC came third. Conversely, SBC failed to rank in the advisory category where SG Warburg ranked third.

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