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Awards

The US's best investment bank 2019: Morgan Stanley

Awards for Excellence 2019

If there is one refrain that crops up when some Morgan Stanley executives talk about their business, it is “critical judgement”. It refers to those key moments in a deal when the firm’s advice will be the defining factor in determining success. Time and again in the last year it has got these moments right, making it the US’s best investment bank.

Morgan Stanley is on a tear: 2018 saw the investment banking division’s best results ever, as it did for the firm as a whole.

And that was despite a difficult fourth quarter for the sector. Its leading equities sales and trading franchise was a differentiator in the turbulent last month of the year (the bank also wins the award for World’s best bank for markets). And its fixed income business continues to reap the benefits of its radical reshaping in 2015.

On the primary side, there have been landmark deals in all asset classes, including Cigna’s $20 billion senior notes offering to finance its acquisition of Express Scripts, where the firm was lead left on all 10 tranches, and Uber’s $2 billion senior bond that used a 4(a)2 private placement note structure that had only been used once in the traditional high-yield market.

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