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Awards for excellence - Best equity house

Awards for Excellence 2005

Merrill Lynch

Merrill's management has turned round the firm's equity business to make it once again a market leader

Rupert Hume-Kendall

Merrill Lynch's equity business has had a remarkable year. The firm has always boasted one of the biggest and broadest equity franchises, but this year it can also boast of having the best.

Over the past 12 months Merrill has been a leading underwriter in north America, Europe and Asia. This year it is the best equity house in the US and north America and had a very strong case for the award in western Europe. It has also strengthened its position in the Middle East and north Africa, leading large deals such as the $1 billion IPO of Maroc Telecom, the second largest Middle East and north African deal ever.

The turnaround has been pronounced, particularly in Europe, where the volume of ECM deals has now overtaken that of the US. Last year it ranked just seventh for ECM and fifth for both IPOs and block trades.

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