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Team players and star performers

Until recently, corporates were hard-pressed to identify the individual M&A advisers most likely to guide them through a transaction or help them head one off. Traditional league tables, reckons, just don’t fill this bill. The established league table providers, taking their cue from some banks’ desire to curb the cult of personality, beg to differ. So who measures M&A advisers best?

by Jonathan Brown

Caspar Hobbs

When it comes to mergers and acquisitions, getting the right adviser can be of paramount importance for any company at a crucial moment in its history. Consequently, tables released by data providers, such as Thomson Financial and Computasoft Research, can play a major role in making a selection. It might be expected that the field would not be too contentious - after all, the figures must surely speak for themselves. But a little controversy has now been injected into the mix, thanks to a comparative newcomer in the M&A league table business.

That new player is and the controversy surrounds the company's decision to expand on the usual list of league table services by publishing tables ranking the named individuals at each advisory firm who are actually doing the deals.

The latest league tables from Thomson Financial show Goldman Sachs leading the way, with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter following, both by value and number of deals for the first 10 months of this year.

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