Lazards Tops Cross-Border Deals

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Lazards topped the league table for cross-border bids and deals in Europe last year, but half of the top 10 were US banks, according to annual figures published yesterday.

The drive by US banks has been at the expense of UK banks and integrated European banks. Last year's total of Americans in the top 10 compares with four the year before.

Some US investment banks, such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, have spent the last decade building up their cross-border advisory work in Europe, partly to get round the dominance of local advisers in domestic deals within European countries. The league table confirms the success of this strategy. The US banks have "effectively a stranglehold on European cross-border mergers and acquisitions advisory work", said Philip Healey, editor of Acquisitions Monthly, which produced the data. Lazards came top as a result ofto third with more than pounds 10bn. JP Morgan was fifth, from 11th the year before, Merrill Lynch was sixth and Lehman Brothers eighth. Acquisitions Monthly counts Credit Suisse First Boston as an American investment bank, which it said was for consistency with its previous data, bringing the total of Americans in the top 10 to six. However, a spokeswoman for Credit Suisse said CSFB was now Swiss-owned and Swiss- registered and should be counted as a European bank. UK banks had a poor year in Europe, with only Rothschild making it into the top 10, at number nine. Schroders was 11th, a fall from fourth the year before, and BZW was 15th. …